Being Salt and Light in Ocean View, HI

Luke 19: 1-10

Welcome again it’s good to be back here meeting on the property today’s passage it’s a very popular children’s Bible story but it’s actually a lot more than that we’re going to be in Luke chapter 19 verses 1 through 10 it reveals the very heart of God one who pursues each of us to draw into a loving personal relationship with them and in doing so to change our entire life for the better as we walk through the story of the wee little man let us consider our own spiritual journey and the 1 and the 1 those around us need as well so first to follow Zacchaeus example you need to recognize your low stature without God so let’s look at Zacchaeus his low stature he’s famous in the Bible for being a sure guy Tim perhaps he got rib growing up and growing up maybe people said hey Zacchaeus you’re so short you ought to be a rabbi maybe your sermons will be short too I feel sorry for short people when it rains they’re the last people who know right Zacchaeus was vertically challenged and heightened period if you will but his low stature extended beyond his physical attributes it involved his personal reputation as well back then tax collectors made their living by charging more than they had to rocket occupying forces and then pretty much lined their pockets with the rest of the difference it was a kind of authorized extortion system their salary could be as high as their ability to pressure their fellow citizens so they probably didn’t have a very the locals considered them kind of traitors and cheats scoundrels and out of each of their retribution as Zacchaeus was not only an IRS agent he was the head of the department he was the chief tax collector all right the result was that he was filthy rich greatly despised very lonely and lost very lost have you ever wondered if someone was beyond God’s love maybe they’re just too wicked I met many of veterans that felt like they were beyond God’s love but that’s not the God of the Bible right he gives us a promise in first John 1:9 it says if we confess our sins he’s faithful and just and that he will forgive us our sins and he will purify us from all that unrighteousness when we say my sin is too great or their sins too great to be forgiven what we’re really saying is more about God than what we’re saying about sin we’re limiting the redemptive power of God and of God’s love if God loves a kiss God can love you it’s pretty simple God can love your worst enemy much as we sometimes don’t want to see that Romans 8 38 and 39 says nothing can separate us from the love of God now Zach he has recognized that he needed help in CR we call this position rock bottom Zacchaeus he was filthy rich but he was empty hollow inside so recognize your low stature without God and when you realize that you’re at rock-bottom the next thing we need to do is reach high for God’s grace the good thing about Zacchaeus is that he got curious now when veterans are bound by their PTSD symptoms we ask them to get get curious well curious your girl curiosity about what they’ve told themselves about the trauma what it means for who they are and who the world is as they become curious and begin putting some of their long-held beliefs to the test they discovered that some of their thoughts haven’t been so accurate elpful or even helpful at all lately start to think maybe maybe it wasn’t my fault maybe there’s nothing I could have done to prevent it or maybe maybe I could just go to the mall and not risk my life you know but in this instance curiosity saved the qisas life in verse 3 he said he wanted to see who Jesus was what a great goal right I mean but be careful they could change your life Zacchaeus undoubtedly had heard of this famous rabbi who was healing people and preaching to the masses in the countryside who had recently raised Lazarus not not just about 15 miles away so I mean sure they heard of it here if you heard of somebody an ocean food being raised from the dead I’m pretty sure everyone here would know about now Zacchaeus wanted to check out Jesus firsthand and he wasn’t going to let his short stature get in the way so he decides to climb up a sycamore tree now that’s something we would call a mulberry tree or maybe more commonly hear noni familiar can anyone can you imagine this grown man wearing a robe climbing a tree with all these bystanders around and watching well Zacchaeus he did whatever it took you know didn’t care what people were thinking he just find that tree because he wanted to see Jesus he lived off these two verses jeremiah 29:13 says he sought God with all of his heart he was eleven sixes he earnestly sought after God which God rewarded and that leads us up to our third action which is to respond to God’s personal invite okay did you notice what Jesus did in the story he invited himself to Zach he is this house that sounds rude but you know not if you’re a VIP right imagine someone very important you know I don’t know some big name that you you’ve been seeing on TV sports person that man of the year I don’t know and they come up to you in the crowd and say hey show me where you live cuz and then let’s go hang out let me come to your house today and then after you get up off the ground from fainting you’ll be thrilled right yeah everyone’s looking at two of your famous as in and as you kind of go off with your new friends so here was Jesus sort of Time Magazine’s Man of the Year right inviting himself over to Zacchaeus house and Jesus put some urgency into the invitation verse five says when Jesus reached the spot he looked up and said to him Zacchaeus come down immediately I must stay at your house today Jesus was quite emphatic there was no choice it was God’s will that the two get together that day and did you know that this is the only place in scripture where Jesus did this where he invited himself like this hmm how did Jesus know Zacchaeus this name that’s always bugged me Lou do you ever wonder about that maybe he’s a key is his reputation preceded him in the town for being a scoundrel perhaps just God revealed it to him a worship leader Ricardo Sanchez once said the devil knows your name but he calls you by your sin God knows your sin but he calls you by your name God’s invitation to you is very personal I feel he he’s not he’s he has known you by name from the beginning of time in today’s stories that kiss responded well to Jesus invite he embraced Jesus warming and that leads us to our fourth response which is to rebuild a whole new life it’s a lot right when Jesus announced publicly that he was going to the house of someone everybody knew was corrupt and unpatriotic the crowds began to criticize him by association but Jesus never worried about what other people thought about him his only goal is to please his father in heaven now aren’t you kind of glad that Jesus likes to hang out with sinners I mean can we admit that let that label includes us please raise your right hand and repeat after me i Nathan am a sinner okay there that’s settled you know now please turn to your neighbors and I tell them you’re worse than ever no I’m just thinking about this the people who missed out on the Savior were the ones who thought that they didn’t need saving okay and yet Jesus name ironically means Savior or God saves look how thoroughly God saved his ex-wife one minute he’s dipping his fellow-countrymen to line his own pockets and then the next minute he has a conversation with Jesus but these we don’t have those details but then they announced in verse 8 loud enough for onlookers to hear look lower here now I give half of my possessions to the poor and if I have cheated anybody out of anything I will give them back four times the amount now the verbs that Zakia’s uses here or in the ongoing present tense as if he’s handing out 20s and 50s as he’s as he’s talking to the crowd you know the scripture links God’s grace with our obedience as Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery neither do i condemn you now go and leave your life of sin that’s a John 8:11 if anyone’s curious the Apostle Paul said God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance it’s Roman 2:22 for the law and Zacchaeus is day required a cheater to pay back an extra 20% and I actually looked that up at sin if you really want to look it up Leviticus 6 5 and numbers 5 6 & 7 some dry stuff but it’s there why did he give away so much more because his whole life was turned upside down by that encounter with Jesus his material wealth not just seemed inconsequential compared to his newfound spiritual wealth Zacchaeus wasn’t giving away money to purchase his salvation he was giving away money to catch up with his salvation a Christ father is a giver not a taker and a blesser and definitely not an extortionist Jesus called Zacchaeus a true son of Abraham in verse 9 and he was always culturally a Jew but now he was spiritually in God’s true family you don’t get saved by your family roots you get saved when you come to God on your own confessing your sins to him and receiving forgiveness and life forever in a relationship with them and that brings us to Jesus’s closing verse his job description in verse 10 and he said for the Son of man came to seek and to save the Lost now Jesus came to seek and save you and saved me he sees us hiding in that sycamore tree checking out took him out from a distance and he calls us by name and says I absolutely must enter your house today Jesus seeks he says he’s the moment we put our full and complete trust in him the moment we give him all of our sins and all of our pride and receive God’s forgiveness in return that’s the moment we become a child’s got and enter into a loving relationship with God for all eternity will you trust Jesus with your life right now because there’s no time like the present as I pray what we might call a sinner’s prayer feel free to pray along with me Father you help me to trust help me to trust my life right now on to Jesus the one who seeks after me to reconcile me please forgive me all my sin please help me to realize how much you have forgiven me as I give my sin to you and in my fresh start please give me let me live purposefully for you and use my life to bless others helped me to see Zacchaeus the Zacchaeus is of the world as you do and desperate needed and your name Jesus I pray amen



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