Summary: We need to overcome what obstacles in our lives that might hinder us from seeking and seeing Jesus.
WHEN JESUS STOPPED: FOR ZACCHAEUS
INTRO TO TOPIC:
QUOTE: Leonard Ravenhill: “There was a time when people came to church to meet with God. Now they come to church to sing songs and hear stories about Him.”
Do we believe that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever? (Hebrews 13:8).
“1 A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:1-5).
• One of the most amazing things from the life of the story is the time He took to stop and encounter people. Whenever Jesus met someone, their lives were transformed.
• Today we’re going to see how Jesus responded to an outcast who was far from Him.
1. ZACCHAEUS SOUGHT TO SEE JESUS:
“1Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.” (Luke 19:1-3, NKJV).
• Who was Zacchaeus? He was a rich tax collector, a thief, and a sinner.
• Zacchaeus had heard how wonderful Jesus was, and sought to see Him. That’s great!
• Sought = zeteo which means to search with a passion, a craving and an intense desire.
o “Then the Greeks came to Philip, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” (John 12:21). I want to stir up your appetite to seek after Him today!
• There are many precious promises in the Bible:
o “And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all of your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
o “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8),
o “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
• HOWEVER – there was an obstacle: The crowd. He wanted to, but he couldn’t.
• Sometimes there are things in our lives that can hinder us from seeking and seeing Jesus.
• What are some roadblocks in your life? The Crowd (people’s opinions or unbelief), Busyness (too distracted to hear God’s voice), Sin (will keep you from the Bible).
• We need to overcome those roadblocks and do whatever it takes to see Jesus.
2. JESUS STOPPED FOR ZACCHAEUS:
“4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.” (Luke 19:4-6, NKJV).
• There’s so much we can learn about Jesus from His encounter with Zacchaeus!
o Jesus sees YOU. He knows what you’re going through! If you’re going through a storm, battling a sickness, depression, He wants to bring you His peace.
o Jesus loves YOU. It was His love that motivated Him to stop for Zacchaeus.
o Jesus knows YOUR NAME. He created you! He knows everything about you.
o Jesus calls us too to MAKE HASTE. Don’t delay! Seek Jesus today.
• How did Zach respond to Jesus? He made haste and came down.
• What was the result of His encounter with Jesus? JOY!
o “In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11).
• Jesus wants to come to YOUR house today – will you open your heart and let Him in?
3. THE CROWD COMPLAINED:
“But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” (Luke 19:7).
• Jesus was called a friend of sinners (Luke 7:34). The religious leaders didn’t like that.
• “9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him. 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (Matthew 9:9-12).