Summary: WE ARE REMINDED IN THIS STORY THAT THERE ARE MILLIONS OF ZACCHAEUS’ IN THE WORLD. HAVE WE HAD AN EFFECT ON THEIR LIFE?
A. Not much known about him
B. He was a man made rich by greed and selfishness. A man who knew he wasn‘t doing right, feeling guilty, knew his situation but didn’t have the heart to get out
-his wrong was not being a tax collector but was in over taxing people to become rich and not having a heart that was right with God
C. He was a man hated by his own people. A publican was worse than a sinner to the Jews because they were viewed as traitors
D. He was a religious outcast. Didn’t go to church. Wasn’t trying to live right. Wasn’t really concerned what people or God thought of him as long as he had what he wanted.
E. Most important of all, he was a sinner, lost, without God. His only source of joy, peace, satisfaction and comfort was found in his ill-gotten gain
II. ZACCHAEUS’ CONVERSION
A. Suddenly, without warning he makes a startling turn
B. He seems to have a change of heart in mid-stream and begins restoring all he had wrongly taken
C. Jesus states that, “Today, salvation has come to this house”
D. Zacchaeus’ actions didn’t save him but an inward work of salvation had changed his actions
1-you can tell when a person has really been saved by their actions. They live like they have a lot of making up to do. Rom 8:12 ...we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
2- Zacchaeus restored fourfold going beyond what the law required
III. WHAT WAS ZACCHAEUS’ TURNING POINT?
A. What brought him to the place of repentance?
-it wasn’t the religious people
B. Probably God dealing with his heart. He knew what was right even if he wasn’t doing it.
-I believe God was dealing with his heart because when he heard there was a prophet passing through town, he went to hear him.
C. The ultimate point of conversion was with his encounter with Jesus. Something happened that caused him to suddenly and unreservedly turn his life around
D. We can only speculate about what really influenced his decision
1-Was it the report of the miracles? His teaching and preaching? Was it the clothes Jesus wore (rabbinical dress)?
2-my guess is, it was the friendship and love that Jesus showed by inviting himself to dinner
3-things were done different in the bible than they are today. It wasn’t impolite to invite oneself to dinner when passing through town. It was a privilege to be the host to a traveler. By inviting Himself to Zacchaeus’ home, Jesus showed Him a great deal of love and friendship.
IV. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TODAY?
A. There are millions, billions of Zacchaeus’ in the world. Many of them God is dealing with, they know better, the are running, hiding
B. How will they be affected by our life?
1-rejected, scorned, turned away?
2-accepted, befriended, loved?
C. Could it be that an encounter with you could be a major turning point in their life? Will our demonstration of love and friendship touch their lives the way Jesus did Zacchaeus?