Summary: ZACCHEUS GREW INTO A BIG MAN
Zaccheus: LK. 19: 1-10
Today we’ll talk for a few minutes about a little man who becomes a big man, Zaccheus.
Most of us probably recall the childhood song about Zaccheus because of the words in it that started something like this, "Zaccheus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he." But this song leaves out a whole lot about Zaccheus, so today we’re going to see that although Zaccheus was small in stature he was certainly not small in nature, for he demonstrated a character that many people today need to develop within our own lives.
Listen as I read today’s text found in LK. 19: 1-10 and let us see if we might learn something that might help some of us to grow as we can apply what we see here to our own lives.
LK. 19: 1-10 1And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, [tax collectors, they collected monies for the Roman Government and often kept some for themselves, they were despised by the Jews] and he was rich.
3And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for He was to pass that way.
5And 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.
6And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8And 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.”
9And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
In these verses we read about a man named Zaccheus. Zaccheus was the chief tax collector in all of Jericho and we read here that he was a very wealthy man. He became wealthy by collecting taxes from his own countrymen.
The meaning of Zaccheus’s name means "righteous one."
He collected money from his own friends and neighbors and yet he was called by the name "righteous one."
Back in that day and time a person’s name was to reaveal to one and all his or her destiny, or future character and personality.
It’s likely that he had parents who were devout worshippers of the God of Israel and they had raised Zaccheus in the ways of Jehovah God.
Zaccheus’ destiny was to carry on his family’s religious beliefs and to walk in the ways of the Lord and truly be righteous, but he had apparently gone astray.
It must have been very painful and difficult for Zaccheus to live with the knowledge that he was defying his family’s wishes and that he was going against God’s plan for his life.
We read here that Zaccheus "was of short stature," meaning that he wasn’t very tall in height.
So according to the Bible Zaccheus was a short man, but it seems also that at this particular time as he met Jesus he was also short spiritually.
When we are out of God’s will for our lives there is a spiritual battle being fought inside of us and we are being cut down from what our spiritual size could really be.
Remember the name Zaccheus means “righteous one”.
God may have directed us to walk down the path of righteousness while we have chosen another path, and then we become torn apart on the inside. When we are out of God’s will for our lives we feel very small in spirit.
When we sin against God we are so ashamed, we feel very short and extremely small inside. And lets remember that all sin is against God.
Zaccheus likely felt what many of us feel when we are out of God’s will. When we are out of the Lord’s will we can feel depressed.
Zaccheus may have been down on the inside, but as Jesus was about to pass that way he had a desire to get as close to Him as he could.
It’s as though he found a spark of new life, for we read in Vs.4 4And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for He was to pass that way.