Summary: Who was Zacchaeus and what caused him to search for Christ, and why his life is a testimony to the transforming power of the gospel.
Scripture: Luke 19:1-10 "And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
PROPOSITION: to use this text to study who Zacchaeus was. to search out the type of character that he had and what caused him to seek out Jesus. and why his life is a testimony to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
1.) Who was Zacchaeus?
A. He was chief among the publicans and as a publican he worked for Rome to collect taxes among his own people and because of this he was despised among the Jews. In verse 7 of our text they referred to Zacchaeus as a sinner because he was known for his unscrupulous character. "he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner."
B. He was dishonest in his tax collecting and accused some falsely in order to accumulate more for his own unlawful gain. "if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold". Zacchaeus Was a dishonest man and everyone of us has broken God's Commandments in dishonesty, both in thought, word and deed. The scripture teaches that "there is none righteous no not one". Jesus said "...out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:"
C. He was rich and found that riches did not satisfy the deepest needs of his heart. Jesus has told us that "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God". Man is a soul and the soul is immaterial and material things can never satisfy the immaterial, we need the Lord Jesus Christ who is the bread of life for true satisfaction.
D. He was probably very lonely because no one wanted to spend any time with someone who was stealing their substance. The psalmist talked about loneliness and said "I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top." Loneliness and a guilty conscience has led many to end their earthly life, and Gods children mourn because of this.
2.) How did Zacchaeus seek after Christ?
A. He sought after Christ in truth and not in pretense. he may have been the chief of sinners in the eyes of many, but there was something inside of him that was hungering and thirsting after righteousness. And this was the work of the Holy Spirit who is come to convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.
"...he sought to see Jesus who he was"
B. He sought Christ courageously, not letting obstacles detour him, he set his face as a flint toward Christ. There was the multitude that thronged Christ and Zacchaeus could not get near him because of the press, but the Providence of God had allowed for a sycamore tree to grow in the path of Christ, and he climbed up into that sycamore tree that he might look upon Christ. We are told in the scripture to fix our eyes upon Jesus and He will save us. "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." Hebrews 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame..."
C. He sought Christ humbly. very few wealthy men would be willing to climb a tree like a little child, but little Zacchaeus was willing. And God always "...resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." And those that come to Christ must come to him as a little child. Matthew 18:3 "...Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."