Summary: God expresses His love and compassion for those who are downtrodden and expects us to do likewise

Three Cheers for the Underdog

Luke 19:1-10

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.

2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.

3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.

4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."

6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a ’sinner.’"

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

I LIKE SPORTS. I like to participate in them and I like being a spectator. You may have already observed that I make use of illustrations from the world of sports. There are basically two kinds of fans: (1) those who love a winner; (2) those who are always for the underdog.

I fit into the second category. I’ll always root for the underdog. That’s why I’m a Cubs fan!

The word “underdog” originated through a popular 19th century song by David Barker called, The Underdog In the Fight.

I know the world, that the great big world

Will never a moment stop

To see which dog may be in the fault,

But will shout for the dog on top.

But for me, I shall never pause

To ask which dog may be in the right,

For my heart will beat, while it beats at all,

For the underdog in the fight!

If we would take time to trace through the Bible on this subject, we would find that the Lord is ALWAYS on the side of the underdog!

1. He set His love upon ISRAEL. Deut.7:6,7: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession. The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.”

2. DAVID was an underdog.

3. GIDEON was an underdog.

4. ELIJAH was an underdog.

5. DANIEL was an underdog.

6. WOMAN TAKEN IN ADULTERY was an underdog.

7. THE DISCIPLES were underdogs.

Illus.: “$25 For A Crippled Puppy”

A farmer was sitting on the front porch one summer evening when a newspaper boy came to deliver his paper. The boy noticed a sign on the porch which read, “Puppies For Sale.” He got off his bike and said to the farmer, “How much do you want for the pups, mister?” “$25, son.” The boy’s face dropped. “Well, sir, could I at least see them anyway?” The farmer whistled and in a moment the mother dog came bounding around the corner of the house tagged by 4 cute puppies, wagging their tails and yipping happily. At last, another puppy came straggling around the house, dragging one leg behind. “What’s the matter with that puppy, mister?” the boy asked the farmer. “Well son, that puppy is crippled. We took her to the vet and he took an x-ray. The pup doesn’t have a hip joint and that leg will never be right.” To the amazement of the farmer, the boy dropped his bike, reached for his collection bag, and took out a fifty-cent piece. “Please mister, I want to buy that pup. I’ll pay you 50 cents each week until that $25 is paid. Honest I will, mister.” The farmer said, “But son, you don’t seem to understand. That pup will never be able to run or jump. That pup is going to be a cripple forever. Why in the world would you want such a useless pup as that?” The boy reached down a pulled up his pant leg, revealing a brace, holding a poor, twisted leg. “Mister,” the boy said, “that pup is going to need someone who understands him to help him in life!”

There’s no great example of an underdog than the sinner, who has been crippled in his soul. He’s been cut off from God—unable to help himself. Jesus is for the sinner. That’s why He came. He understands our condition. By His death and resurrection we have help in this life and hope for the life to come.

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