This parable is one of my favourite New Testament scripture verses found in the Holy Bible. Jesus had just performed a wonderful miracle; He had healed a blind man begging on the road leading to Jericho, and was now entering through Jericho when a publican, (a tax gatherer), and a very rich man by the name of Zacchaeus caught Jesus' attention.
Zacchaeus having heard Jesus was passing by decided to go and see what Jesus was like for himself. Zacchaeus, because of his profession undoubtedly heard rumours or had conversations with people he met or who went to him to pay their taxes concerning Jesus. He must have heard all the rumours that were spread all over Judea saying Jesus was a mad man, a heretic, a sinner, a blasphemer, a good man, the chosen One, a prophet, the Messiah. But, Zacchaeus being a short man of stature and physical appearance had done the unusual, he had climbed a sycamore tree to get a better view of Jesus.
Curiosity, got the better of Zacchaeus, he wanted to find out for himself, if this carpenter from Nazareth was truly the 'Messiah' , the chosen One. Curiosity can get the better of you and when it does can propel you, launch you to do the unexpected, just like Zacchaeus did. Zacchaeus, a short man of physical stature knew for certain that he would face some obstacles in order to see Jesus.
Being a short man, he would find it impossible to see over the crowd, and if he went in amongst the pressing crowd the milling mob of peoples, all trying to touch Jesus, he would probably be crushed or possibly get hurt. Also not forgetting the very fact he was a rich publican, in charge of collecting taxes from the peoples who where no doubt in the crowd. Zacchaeus knew if he went amongst the crowd, he would be threatened verbally and physically because of his profession.
But, despite being a short man, despite his handicap, despite his profession, despite him being one of the most hated person's in his town, curiosity got a hold of him. He was absolutely determined come rain or sunshine, thunder or lightning, crowd reaction, hatred or love he would see for himself what Jesus was really like.
Zacchaeus knew for certain he would face obstacles, and you to will face obstacles; they will stand in your way and prevent you from seeing Jesus….
PRIDE (sin) -- "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble" Jesus said we must all become like little children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (3) things concerning a child's character --- Their fresh from God-- their innocent --- and they don't doubt!
IDOLATRY -- Biggest idols in our lives, is ourselves we worship ourselves --- we worship men/ women, worship materialism, fashionable clothes, sport stars, pop stars, we worship idols things that take us away from God. God's 1st Commandment, "was thou shall not have any other gods, except Me!"
WORLDLINESS -- Yes lovers of the world; pleasure seekers instead or God seekers, God chasers. A man can possess all the diamonds in South Africa, all the gold in Fort Knox; can have gained all the best education money can buy; have the best mansion with state-of-the-art security and an Olympic swimming pool, sauna and spa pool; have ten of the most expensive cars found anywhere in the world in his garage or driveway, but saints of God, it means absolutely nothing! "What shall a man gain if he profits the whole world but sells (loses) his eternal spirit!" Friendship
with the world is enmity with God. Jesus loves you and He doesn't
condemn you having money. NO. The Holy Bible says quite clearly that
"money answers all things", and "money is the root of all evil". God did
didn't say money was evil. He emphasised, that we should not be a pleasure
seeker of this world, but set your heart and mind on Heavenly thoughts.
You came out of the world, so therefore you and I need to separate ourselves from evil thoughts and evil things. When you leave God's environment your heart, your soul is spiritually and emotionally and physically dying because, the world squeezes you even more and when you partake of the world's pleasures it continues to squeeze you, so that it becomes a hindrance to you ---
and this prevents you from worshipping God. It's not easy to be a Christian in this modern society. The 21st Century has more of everything these days, but, we New Testament Christians need to stand and suffer for His righteous name's sake.
SECRET SINS -- You and I can't keep secrets from God, if your still hiding that sin, that lust, that bitterness, that affair, that jealousy, that malice, that hatred, that envy --- come judgement day everything will be exposed. Confess your sins --- surrender all to Jesus.
GOOD WORKS (self-righteousness) -- is an obstacle which will prevent you from seeing God. "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags!" , in God's eyes. Good works will not save you. Believing and repenting of your sins and confessing Jesus as your Lord and Saviour will save you, and continuing to live a holy life unto him --- this will save you!!
Jesus calls us individually by our name, because He knows our name. He knew Zacchaeus by name. He called Zacchaeus by name, "Zacchaeus, make haste, hurry down, come quickly from there!"
Zacchaeus a Jew, who had sided with the hated Roman oppressors was sitting there in the branches of a sycamore tree. He still had enough religious sensitivity to be curious about Jesus. He was waiting for Jesus, watching for Jesus, until he hears Jesus calling his name. Jesus therefore took the initiative. He stopped the procession and called out to Zacchaeus, inviting Himself to a meal at Zacchaeus' home. Though befriending Zacchaeus upset the crowd, Jesus it as typical of His unique ministry: to seek and save the lost souls of this world.
Every person who Jesus Christ calls, He calls personally and publicly. His call to Zacchaeus was an urgent call --- 'make haste Zacchaeus'. In other words, Jesus was saying to Zacchaeus:
THIS IS THE DAY OF YOUR SALVATION, NOW IS THE EXCEPTED TIME!
Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost --- and Zacchaeus was lost, he was a great sinner. But, Jesus knew Zacchaeus' heart and Jesus' call was a successful call because Zacchaeus repented, was converted, became born again, he was rescued from sin and placed under God's care and protection.
Another miracle also took place in the life of Zacchaeus. He made a vow, and oath, a promise to pay back 4 (four times) the amount that was taken for taxes from members of the public. Jesus, registered Zacchaeus in the Kingdom of Heaven, with confirmation that he was truly one of Abraham's sons --- one of God's special people (verse 9 of Luke chapter 19) .