Come on Down
Text: Luke 19:1-10
Zacchaeus in the Hebrew means ‘pure’, or ‘innocent’ he was a chief tax collector at Jericho and is only mentioned in the gospel of Luke. A descendant ofAbraham he is an example of Jesus personal, earthly mission to bring salvation to the lost. Tax collectors were despised as traitors and corrupt (working for the Roman Empirenot for their Jewish community).
Jesus is for the sinner. That’s why He came. He understands our condition. By His death and resurrection, we have help in this life and hope for the life to come.
The account of Zacchaeus is used by some to illustrate the saying of Jesus in Matthew 5:8 ‘Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God’ remember his name means ‘pure’.
Zacchaeus also becomes a contrast of character with the Rich Young Ruler Luke 18:18-23. Both Zacchaeus and the Rich Young Ruler were wealthy men but one was self-righteous and would not give up his possessions, while the other gave half his possessions to feed the poor.
The rich farmer of Luke 12:16-21 is also a foil to Zacchaeus. While the rich farmer sought to find an abundant ‘life’ in the stockpiling of his possessions, Zacchaeus instead finds ‘life‘ in the dispossession, the giving away of his plenty.
If you want to meet and know Jesus. If you want a personal, life changing encounter with Him. It will not happen inadvertently, it will happen intentionally. It will not happen by chance but by intention.
Zacchaeus ran on ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus. He was intentional and positioned himself to create the opportunity. Note at this time it was more about him seeing without being seen. Some of you are Zacchaeus, you are watching on line, you want to see but you want the anonymity of us not knowing who you are, that’s o.k. for us but not for Jesus.
To God you are not an unknown person, an unknown name. Speaking to one of the Old Testament prophets Jeremiah God said “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born…Jeremiah 1:5
v.5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up…Two things worth noting here: First, God is so desperate to give you a chance to know Him that He appoints/makes a time for you…Jesus came to the place What place? (Divinity, Humanity, opportunity and destiny collide)
Second thing Jesus looked up…Normally if we want to meet God, you would expect to look up. Jesus, when He met and communed with His Father, He looked up to heaven and here we see Jesus looking up to Zacchaeus.
When a loved one dies everyone, whether they are Bible believing, Jesus centred person or someone who has never given Jesus a moment of their time always say. ‘Billy’s up there looking down on me.’ No one ever says ‘My Billy’s looking up at me’ But in death people hope that God is so gracious and loving, that He will put aside His holiness, His righteousness and Justice to let their loved one into His heaven.
Jesus looked up at Zacchaeus (Zak Hi Ass) and the Bible gives us a picture of a God who left the splendour and majesty of heaven to literally put Himself on the hook of human suffering through the cross. And this is the God who wants to know you. God says when we call on Him He will no longer make his habitation in bricks and buildings but instead He will come and make His home in our hearts.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy and you are that temple.1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Jesus says if you want to know me then I must stay in your house today. Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully.
The people who were complaining spoke a truth ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’ There will always be those who are willing to tell you how bad you are but we all are.
Look at the transformation that took place in Zacchaeus life. He called Jesus ‘Lord’ He admitted what he was ‘I’m a thief’
Admit you’re a gossip, adulterer, pornographer, racist, self-righteous, selfish, liar, an addict Call it what it is in this moment. He resolved to do what he could to make things right. Look what happened ‘Today salvation has come to this house…For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.’
Be intentional today about meeting Jesus
He has appointed this moment in time (Divinity, Humanity, opportunity and destiny collide)
He is looking up at you today wanting to come and stay in your life, make His home in your heart and offer you salvation. -Yes even you.
Invite Jesus joyfully into your life this morning.
Know through the confirmation and affirmation of the Holy Spirit that you have received salvation/freedom in Christ this day.
Release from guilt and shame of the past. Know the absolute total forgiveness of God through Jesus.
Your life will never be the same again.