Text: Luke 19:1-10
Prop: a picture of Zacchaeus in a sycamore tree
Summary: Zacchaeus repented of taking unfairly from others and repaid them. He believed on Jesus and was saved.
Today I want to tell you the story about Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector (publican) that lived in Jericho. Remember Jericho, where the walls came tumbling down? It was a small town on a trade route and one day Jesus was passing through it, on his way to Jerusalem. Zacchaeus was rich, but he had become rich by taking more taxes from people than the law allowed. He was dishonest. Most people hated tax collectors because they worked for the Roman government.
There are a few stories in the Bible I can really relate to. I'm a short guy. Zacchaeus was short of stature. He was so short he needed to climb a sycamore tree just to be able to see over the crowd. We know the media was there because he couldn't see Jesus for the press <grin>. When Jesus passed by the tree, he looked up and saw Zacchaeus. What Jesus did next shocked everyone. He told him to hurry down out of the tree because he would spend the day at his house. Jesus was criticized for spending time with people with bad reputations, but he explained his reasons for associating with them. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Jesus cares about everyone, no matter what his or her present situation is. He wants to save everyone from his or her sins.
Zacchaeus was truly a changed man after he met Jesus. He repented of all the wrong things he had done. He understood what Jesus said about "turning around" and following in His ways. He promised Jesus that he would pay back the people he had taken too many taxes from according to the laws of Moses (Leviticus 6:5). Jesus told Zacchaeus he was forgiven. This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. Jesus was telling Zacchaeus that his faith had caused him to be counted among God's people. Everyone that comes to Jesus in faith and believes on him is saved by his or her faith in Him. We are all sinners, no better than this corrupt tax collector from Jericho. And like Zacchaeus, we can all turn our eyes upon Jesus and be saved.
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©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.