Bad and Good at the same time.
HANDOUT FOR THE SERMON: BAD AND GOOD IN US AT THE SAME TIME. The Story of Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1-10, December 26th, 2021, Manchester, TN
Introduction: It is very important for Christians to mold their heart, their thinking and behavior after that of Christ. This is hard to do so that is why so many Christians do not grow in this area of their spiritual walk. Children’s song” Zacchaeus was a wee little man…” based on a N.T. story which is recorded only once in the Gospel, Luke 19. Start by reading the scripture. The need to understand the status of tax collectors in order to get the true message of Jesus.
Worldly and fleshly thought and behavior often results in strong opinions of others and even to the point of speak poorly of others and judging or condemning others.
How do many judge others?
• By cultural & ethnic background. By what you do? Job & statis? By where you live. By your physical appearance.
• 2 Corinthians 10:7 “Do you look on things after the outward appearance?” Matthew 23:28 You outwardly appear righteous unto men, but full of hypocrisy and sin. Romans 2:8
• Is this the way Jesus looked upon Zacchaeus? What did Jesus see when looked at him?
• Jesus saw the bad but also the GOOD in him.
Things we know about Zacchaeus:
• A man of small stature.
• A cultural Jew.
• A rich man who got rich by taking from His own people. Gained by hurting others.
• The character of Zacchaeus: a man of sin, dishonest tax collector, defrauded others, politically incorrect and socially despised by other Jews.
Scripture about tax collectors: Mark 2:14-16, Matthew 10:3, Matthew 5:46, Matthew 18:17
6 things we learn about Zacchaeus:
• A dishonest & sinful man head Jew of oppression.
• A rich man who gained by defrauding others.
• An outward physical appearance of a man of small stature.
• A genuinely curious seeker of Jesus. Verse 3
• A diligent seeker who sought something more. Verse 4
• An inward willingness to confess and repent. Verse 8
Zacchaeus was ALL 6 of these things at the same time!
This represents us all as humans. We often are a mixture of good and bad. We are one a journey of change. A journey of change for each year will live. The hope is that we too may be a avid seeker of Jesus who will in time become diligent for more. Then grow on to a willingness to confess and repent, because Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost, verse 9-10.
What do you see when YOU look at Zacchaeus? What do you YOU see when you look at others? Do you only focus on the bad? Do you only focus on the external? What is the difference in the vision or sight of the others verses the sight of Jesus?
Luke 15 – More stories to tax collectors & sinners and the Pharisees & scribes.
• Verse 1-7 The lost sheep. (1%)
• Verse 8-10 The lost coin. (10%)
• Verse 11-32 The two sons and one is lost. (50%)
Are YOU like Zacchaeus?
• Reputation ruined, hated by all, a sinner, a real “nobody?”
• Jesus sees more than what you are doing?
• Jesus sees one that needs salvation.
• Jesus says ‘I am here to save you, not to condemn you!”
SO easy to judge others’ unworthiness and sin.
• Easy to be like the Pharisees and to be judgmental.
• Easy to be blinded by our self-righteousness & correctness, our self-view and perspective of things.
• Consider the “older brother” in Luke 15.
• Are YOU willing to be like Jesus in such matters.? Jesus always looked deeper!
John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Luke 19:9 “Today salvation has come to this house because he also is a son of Abraham, for the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.”
1 Peter 2:21 ”For to this YOU were called because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example that you should follow His steps.” (The sacrificing spirit of Jesus for others!)
1Timothy 2:4 “Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
CONCLUSION: What about “ME” not Zacchaeus! Are you willing to be more like Jesus? Jesus always looked for more in others! He looked deeper, much deeper than the religious people of His day, do we? Be a seek and saver like Jesus. Start by: You- being a seeker of Jesus.
This story tells us clearly- “it doesn’t matter what you have done or what you are currently doing – you can be a seeker of Jesus and even a diligent seeker! If you are, you will in time come to confession and repentance and find salvation in Christ.