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Message Text

Luke 19:1-10

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Message Notes

Keep With It

Zacchaeus: A Story of Repentance

I actually believe that God wants me to turn from my sin continually. This Bible story shows us what repentance looks like.

Zacchaeus as a chief tax collector in Jericho (higher rank than Matthew.) He extorted more money from people than what was contracted by the Roman government. Jesus was passing through Jericho, and Zacchaeus the tax collector wanted to to see him.

Curiosity is the beginning of repentance.

1. Curiosity (The “Find Out” Factor)

3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

Zacchaeus had two major obstacles from meeting Jesus: chief tax collector and short.

If you’re curious enough, you’ll climb the tree - solutions start with curiosity.

Zacchaeus was being curious about the right thing. If you are curious enough to catch a glimpse of Jesus, God will give you that and more.

Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was. Curiosity can change your view and give you perspective that you didn’t have before.

Curiosity can lead to calling.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

2. Calling (when you realize He wanted to see you MORE)

There is a SPOT: where your curiosity to see Him meets His strategy to see you. Have you ever felt like God stopped the whole world just for you?

“I must stay at your house today.” (Divine necessity - the woman at the well)

Curiosity led to an invitation to table fellowship (He prepares a table for me.) Table fellowship had deep significance in that culture: accepting, inviting, partnership.

Side note - muttering

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

Do you know anyone who just mutters? I can mutter. It is not an effective strategy for getting someone to change.

The problem with muttering is that it’s both right and wrong. Muttering alone never leads to salvation. This is the same word as when the Israelites grumbled in the desert and made God angry.

Thankfully, both Jesus and Zacchaeus ignore the muttering. There is something to be said about ignoring the mutter.

The story of repentance continues: Curiosity > Calling > Conversion & Commitment.

3. Conversion & Commitment (Repentance)

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Table fellowship with God will bring awareness of sin. At the awareness of sin is the opportunity for repentance.

Zacchaeus stands up and declares his intent to be a different man. Notice Jesus didn’t mention the sin - it was Zacchaeus that brought it up. People who are really changed bring solutions on their own to make it right.

Zacchaeus v. rich young ruler

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Zacchaeus had a heart change and was saved. Salvation was the result of being a son of Abraham, not because of his good deeds. However, real repentance always produces fruit.

Luke 3:8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

4. Keep With It (LIving a Story of Repentance)

Zacchaeus would have spent a lifetime working this salvation out.

Imagine having to go back and make right with everyone you cheated 4 times over. Many people would be impacted by Zacchaeus’ story.

God’s plan all along - 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Will you climb a tree? It all starts with curiosity.

There is a spot: where your curiosity to see him meets His strategy to see you.

God wants Table Fellowship with you this week. He must come to your house.

There’s a divine necessity to live a life of repentance so that the lost are found.