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Rev. Brian Mathis
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1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:1-10 (ESV)
As we read this passage of Scripture, we see a man who is hated by the Jews because he works for the Romans as a tax collector. Because of this and the reputation tax collectors had to be thieves. Zacchaeus was in the lowest class of people you could be part of in Israeli and that is the class called sinner. Yes they actually called people sinners and people accepted the fact they were. If we could only admit we are it would be a place to start a new work from, as we go forward in our walk with Jesus.
Can you picture this scene a short older man possible round hanging out on the tree limb? Trying to hang on and get a look at Jesus. Some would say he did it to draw Jesus’ attention. Yet in a crowd of people all who by the world’s standards were better than this man. Jesus calls Him by name and goes to lunch with him bringing a change into His life and household. Time with Jesus will always bring a change in those who are near Him.
There are two points I want to share with you. In this crowd of people all wanting to see Jesus one man sacrificed little more than the rest so that he might look upon Jesus. The second point is God knows when we are sacrificing. You see even though the world thought Zacchaeus was not worth much. Because of whom he was and what he did; when he took a step to go just a little bit further than the rest of the crowd God called him by name. You know another truth found in this testimony is people have not changed in 2000 plus years. When God calls someone out of the crowd and sets them in honor or calls them to service, there are always going to be those who complain about the sinners’ salvation and calling. Often we have forgotten what the purpose was for Jesus coming after all He came to bring salvation to a lost and dying world.
I love one thing about this testimony that is often overlooked; because of Zachaeus’ sacrifice and stepping out from the crowd God brought change to the man and his household. We are all created in God’s image He has knit us together from the womb and knows every hair on our heads. He loved us so much that He sent His only son that we may live with Him eternally one day. There were lots of people that day who were standing around wanting to see Jesus the one that sacrificed not in honor but in humility and set himself apart from the crowd had a life changing encounter with the Jesus Christ. Is it not time we separate ourselves from those who want to just see and go the extra distance required to show God we are serious about being in His presence. Have a blessed day as you walk in the light of God’s Word.
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