Summary: Today we hear Jesus say to Zacchaeus "Today salvation has come to this house". What did Zacchaeus have to do in order to hear this?. What is required for us to be saved?
1. When I was a child, one of favourite stories was story of Zacchaeus was one of my favourites. Maybe because as a child everyone seemed taller than me as they did for Zacchaeus. Maybe because of the happy ending to story.
2. This story teaches us much about what we must do in order to hear Jesus says to us "Today salvation has come to this house".
3. As we look at story, ask self "Have I done what is necessary?" "Has Jesus said these words to me?"
1. The story begins with Jesus coming into Jericho, the city that Joshua and the Israelites marched around 7 times and then the walls came tumbling down.
2. Just south of this city a new Jericho was built - a trade center, a rich city.
1. A man was there who was named Zacchaeus. He was short and he was wealthy, a chief tax collector. This job meant he was not very popular with the people. Most people, including us do not like to pay taxes - esp. true for Jews.
2. Romans first conquered their land and then forced them to pay taxes to them, and some of their own people, like Z, helped the Romans rob their fellow Jews. He was considered a traitor and also a cheat - made money by collecting more money than the Romans wanted.
3. Although Z was rich, he was very lonely. These things tell us about Z but are not the things we need to do to be saved - not need to be short, rich, tax-collector or lonely.
4. The first thing we need to do is come to Jesus like a child. (Luke 18:17). Z. acted like a child.
a. He wanted to see Jesus but being short he could not. Children know what like to be watching parade - can’t see - people too tall Hopefully someone let you to the front - but I don’t think they would have let Z. in front of them.
b. And so Z runs ahead - probably Jesus already gone by so Z. runs to a tree ahead of him. In the mideast, it was unusual and even undignified to see a grown man run, especially a government official, run.
c. Even today - see if someone important is coming - people walk quickly but careful not to run - seems childish.
d. And then he climbed a tree. How many people here under age of 15 have climbed a tree in past year? How many over 25?. Grown ups don’t do things like that but Z did.
e. Perhaps grownups have too many hangups and fears about what others think. We must get rid of to put trust in Christ - a humbling to do.
5. Second thing we must do - we must seek Jesus. Holy Spirit puts that desire in us but we must respond. (2Chr 7:14; Prov 8:17))
a. Z. was seeking Jesus. Perhaps seemed to be just curious - but must have been more, - because Jesus saw him and He knew Him. Jesus knew that even in His heart Z hoped that Jesus could fill the emptiness that He was feeling.
b. Often those who are lonely or rejected by others are more open to Christ. They are aware of the need for Saviour. That what is meant when Jesus says that for those who are rich - it is almost impossible to come into kingdom.
c. When we look for those who may be open to gospel, look to those rejected by others, who are looked down on - those who are poor and struggling. Often God created need in people so they would turn to Him - ie. Hannah - childless - 1Sam 1.