When You're Up a Tree

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Luke 19:1-10

“Zacchaeus was a wee little man,” is something we remember from Sunday school or VBS, but too often we forget the themes of this very common story. It embodies the very nature of the gospel—the good news.

Zacchaeus was a short tax collector who wanted to see Jesus, so he climbed a tree to see over the crowd. When Jesus reached him, He told Zacchaeus that He would need to stay at Zacchaeus’s house, and Zacchaeus welcomed Him. Townspeople were angry that Jesus would be the guest of a sinner, but Zacchaeus pledged to Jesus to give half his possessions to the poor and repay all money disputes the people had with him four-fold. Jesus brought salvation to Zacchaeus’s house.

You can never escape the attentive eye of God. The man was short of stature but also of moral character—tax collectors in the days of Jesus were unfair and were despised by society. Zacchaeus has gained great wealth off the backs of the people of Jericho, but there was something missing in his life. He had heard of Jesus and had a longing in his heart for something to fill him. Despite his physical placement up a tree and his societal position as a hated individual, Jesus saw Zacchaeus.

There are two times when the attentive eye of God is most evident:
-When you’re experiencing a particularly hard time
-When God is building a spiritual principle into your life

God will reveal a spiritual truth to you, then He will guide your life in such a way that you will eventually “get it.”

From the story of Zacchaeus and elsewhere in the Bible, we know that you have never done anything bad enough to keep God away, right now or in the future! It’s true that you do not deserve Jesus and His salvation, but He will forgive you. Every one of us is saved by grace and none beyond His grasp. Jesus can make a radical change in anyone’s life. What caused Zacchaeus to give away his fortune to the poor and those he has wronged? He experienced the grace of God and repented!

[Due to technical difficulties, we do not have a audio-only podcast of this week’s sermon, but the service can be seen in its entirety on YouTube, linked below.]