Sermons

Summary: What can we learn from this tax collector’s encounter with the Son of God

  Study Tools

The story of Zacchaeus

Story: On 12th February 1809, in a one room log cabin with a dirt floor on a farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, a baby boy was born.

When he was only 9 years-old, his mother died.

He was a boy with rugged determination. And although he only had less than a year of formal education, he succeeded in becoming a lawyer.

However he wasnt satisfied with that. He wanted to REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE and so entered US politics.

If he was going to have maximum impact, he believed that he had to achieve the highest position in the land that of being president of the United States.

Being a man of perseverance, he tried and tried again – and he failed and failed again.

His list of failures was embarrassing:

YEAR FAILURES or SETBACKS

1832 Lost job and was defeated for state

legislature

1833 Failed in business

1835 His Sweetheart died

1836 Had nervous breakdown

1838 Defeated for Illinois House Speaker

1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress

1846 Elected to Congress but lost

renomination in 1848

1849 Rejected for land officer for Illinois

1854 Defeated for U.S. Senate

1856 Defeated for nomination for Vice-

President

1858 Again defeated for U.S. Senate

But in 1860 he was elected President.

And by now you have probably guessed who I am talking about - Abraham Lincoln, probably the greatest of all American Presidents.

His persistence paid off. I’d have given up long ago but Lincoln persevered.

He had a vision of what he wanted to do – and the setbacks that he had did not deflect him from his goal.

In our Gospel reading today, Zaccheus had a goal – to catch a glimpse of Jesus – but he was too small to look above the Crowd.

He could have given up – but he didn’t.

So he did something that was very undignified for a top Roman tax official . Imagine the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown shinning up a tree to get a view of Jesus!! That’s how undignified it was!

Zaccheus had a goal and nothing would deflect him from it. He put his heart and soul into it – even to the point of having the indignity of shinning up a tree.!

He wanted to see Jesus.

In this story I see three important points:

1. Zaccheus looked for Jesus

2. He invited Jesus into his house

3. His meeting with Jesus changed his lifestyle. He showed his faith by what he did

My first important point is that

1. Zacchaeus looked for Jesus

Zaccheus lived in Jericho. As a tax collector he was extremely unpopular. And perhaps very lonely

As I mentioned last week, tax collectors were seen as the lowest form of life in Jewish society – they were outcasts

Do you remember last week in the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector what the Pharisee said

11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ’God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.

Tax Collectors didn’t have their reputation for nothing. They were unscrupulous. They did charge more than they were entitled to. And they used the Roman Army to enforce their will. And there was no Court of Appeal to resort to if you felt you were being unfairly taxed.


Browse All Media

Related Media


Seeds Of Faith
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Worthless
The Veracity Project
Video Illustration
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion