Summary: Zacchaeus: From Greed to Generosity – Luke chapter 19 verses 1-11 - sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com
• (1). A Man Became A Child.
• (2). A Seeking Man Became Found.
• (3). A Small Man Became Big.
• (4). A Poor Man Became Rich.
• (5). A Host Became A Guest.
• Little boy had his first day at school,
• Said to his teacher will you teach me something that will impress my parents;
• So, the teacher got him to repeat this phrase all day long; "2x2=4".
• Later-on at home when they were all having tea together.
• Mum and dad asked him; "What did you learn at school today".
• And the little boy replied "2x2=4".
• Mum & dad were well impressed, they thought they had a genius in the family,
• Until a few minutes later the little boy said; "Mum, what's a two?"
• TRANSITION: Like that little boy,
• Many are familiar with the story of Zacchaeus,
• But not everyone understands and knows its meaning!
Note: He was a tax-collector.
• People did not like tax inspectors in Jesus’ day;
• And they do not like them today,
• Nobody likes having to give their hard-earned money to the government.
• 2 Taxman jokes.
• #1: People who complain about paying their income tax can be divided into two types:
• Men and women.
• #2: What's the difference between an overzealous tax auditor and a rottweiler?
• A rottweiler will eventually let go!
• TRANSITION: People did not like tax inspectors in Jesus’ day;
• And they do not like them today,
These tax officials were very unpopular with the Jewish people for at least 3 reasons:
(A). THEY WERE DISHONEST.
• Often, they were extortionists,
• Making themselves rich by taking too much money from their fellow Jews.
• The Roman government devised a system;
• To collect taxes as efficiently and as cheaply as possible.
• They did this by auctioning the right to collect taxes in a certain area.
• The man who bought that right was responsible to the Roman government for an agreed sum;
• Anything he could raise over and above that;
• He was allowed to keep as commission.
• Not only did they fleece their own countrymen,
• But they also did their best to swindle the government,
• And they made a flourishing income by taking bribes from rich people;
• Who wished to avoid taxes which they should have paid.
• On one occasion when tax-collectors asked John the baptiser, how they should live;
• (Luke chapter 3 verse 12).
• His reply was basic and straight to the point; "be honest!"
• Everyone knew that tax-collectors were corrupt, they were rotten to the bone!
“One of the greatest miracles that Jesus Christ performs today,
is to take a dishonest person, from a dishonest world,
make that person honest,
then place them back in a dishonest world and keep them honest!”
• Question: How is your honesty Christian?
• Answer: We should be known as people of integrity!
(B). THEY WERE TRIATORS.
• They were also hated because they were working for the Romans,
• Although they worked for them indirectly.
• The Romans contracted out to people like the Herod's.
• He ran the region on behalf of the Romans.
• The Herod’s contracted out to people like Zacchaeus;
• Those who were willing to buy the position from them at great cost.
(C). THEY WERE SINNERS.
• They were disliked because they ignored the Jewish laws.
• This explains why the Pharisees called them 'sinners'
• (verse 16).
• ill: A sinner was someone who chose to live outside of God's laws.
• e.g. If you chose to work on the Sabbath,
• e.g. If you did not follow dietary laws (ate pork).
• According to Jewish law a tax-gatherer was excluded from the synagogue;
• They were was included with things and beasts that were unclean,
• They were forbidden to be a witness in any case of law.
• In fact, robbers, murderers and tax-gatherers were all classed together.
• On the social scale, tax collectors were on the bottom.
• (Even prostitutes had a higher social status).
• William Booth was a British Methodist preacher;
• Who founded The Salvation Army and became its first General.
• One Sunday evening, William Booth was walking in London with his son, Bramwell,
• Who was then 12 or 13 years old.
• The father surprised his son by taking him to a pub!
• The place was crowded with men and women.
• Some of them were drunk. Some of them were loud.
• And the air was filled with the smell of alcohol and tobacco.
• Bramwell said to his dad, "Can we go now? Why did you even bring me in here?"