1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Zacchaeus was a Jew and one of the descendents of Abraham. He was also a great sinner. Tax collectors were hated in those days very greatly because they misused their authority. These tax collectors worked not for the Jews but for the Romans who had conquered Israel. They cheated both the people and the government and kept huge sums of money for themselves. While the poor kept getting poor they kept getting rich.
Jesus the Son of God was aware that Zacchaeus was looking for a way out. Zacchaeus was fed up of sinning and needed salvation. He was aware that collecting so much money was not going to get him to a good place after he dies. Now Jesus preached the Gospel where ever he went. So somehow Jesus’ message must have reached Zacchaeus and he sought the way to meet the Lord Jesus.
Due to his short height Zacchaeus tried to see Jesus in Jericho on a tree. Yes, he needed a better vantage point. Sometimes to look at the Lord Jesus you need to stop letting others obstruct your view in their way of life. It was the nature of the people to be taller that Zacchaeus and it was his nature to not let that come in the way of seeing Jesus.
Jesus rewarded his faith by asking that he be a guest at Zacchaeus’ house. This didn’t go well with others who despised Zaccheaus and grumbled. They didn’t see the point of Jesus going to his house.
Now Jesus the Lord was not considered as the Lord by the scribes and the Pharisees of the Jewish faith. They didn’t acknowledge him as the Son of God who would come to save not just the Jews but also the Gentiles from their sins. Though it was mentioned in the prophecies about Jesus, they willfully chose to ignore it. However, when Jesus came to Jericho, that day there was one man who did call him Lord no matter what the religious elite felt.
Zacchaeus called Jesus as the Lord. He realized his need to repent of his sins and accept the Lord as his savior. He recognized that Jesus is the Lamb of God who comes to take the sins of the world and happy was he to receive him under his roof. Though all he had to do was to accept Jesus as the Son of God, he went to declare he will make good all the losses to those whom he had cheated.
Jesus went to say that salvation came to this man’s house and reminded people of his ministry which to seek and save the lost. Christ even today seeks and save the lost. He still through his disciples on earth tries to reach out to those who yearn for salvation. He accepts even the worst of sinners in to the Kingdom of God. Those who are ‘public’ sinners like drug sellers, racists and even terrorists too can receive salvation from Jesus if they turn away from their sinful ways and accept Jesus as the true Lord.
When walking in faith with Christ Jesus, we are called to be confident. Be brave and strong in your faith. Keep it true and real. Sometimes you may face challenges but that doesn’t mean you need to be scared. You need to hold on to Christ the King of Glory who is the author and finisher of your faith.
Don’t be fearful of society when you say you believe in Jesus in front of them. Be happy that you are a witness for Christ in front of people. Be confident of your ability to do good which comes from Jesus above.
Never think that you don’t achieve much. When you trust Christ you are actually living your life for the greatest cause. It is that you glorify the name of the Lord God in your life. No higher cause than that, ever!
Hebrews 10:35-36 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
Psalms 27:1-2 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
Psalms 3:6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.
Psalms 18:29 For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall.
Psalms 20:7 Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
Being confident is NOT having pride in your own thing. In the walk of faith, your source of confidence is not yourself. It needs to come from Christ our Lord divine. Be confident that your faith has come to you from Christ himself in the Gospel. Jesus will see your faith go places; all you need to do is be with him.
Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
Pray to Jesus for you can approach him without fear so that you get his grace in your desperate hour. He is all merciful and mighty to save.
Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
So I finally add this, that to be confident in your walk of faith you need to simply trust the Lord Jesus and he will see you through, all blessed and fruitful.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
You can honor the Lord by understanding his nature and then acknowledging it. You need to believe in the nature of God. For this you will need to have a resource of goodness. No better place than the Bible for that. Here’s a Psalm that gives us a revelation of his nature.
Psalm 29 – A psalm of David.
1 Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
2 Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with bolts of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks
and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
10 The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
The Lord reigns as king forever.
11 The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.
In the Old Testament the Lord God said, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11)
God loves his people and works out plans that help his people rise up against all odds. Abraham and Sarah didn’t have child due to her barrenness but the Lord God gave her favor and she bore a son. Joseph in Egypt lived as a slave but by God’s favor he became the greatest man in Egypt second only the Pharaoh of Egypt. Moses led the Hebrews away from the slavery of Egypt with many signs and wonders of God.
In these instances and many other mentioned in the Old Testament God provided hope to his people. There was one hope still pending, it was prophesied that the savior of the world would manifest in Israel. This was and is the greatest hope not just to the Jews but also to the whole world.
Isaiah 9:1,2 says that, Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan–The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.”
Here is my servant whom I have chosen…In his name the nations will put their hope Isaiah 42:1-4 quoted in Matthew 12:17-21
Yes this speaks about Jesus the son of the Living God and he gives hope. He came on earth fully man and yet was fully God. This is the faith that he came to seek and save the lost and destroy the works of the Evil one.
Psalm 110:1 A psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”
This is the Lord Jesus’ mission statement; “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Isaiah 61:1,2 quoted in Luke 4:18-19.
The mission of Jesus is powerful indeed. He saves people from their sins. He saves people from demonic oppression and Satan’s grasp. He heals people from their sickness. He gives hope, not just earthly, I’m speaking about eternal life with hope, peace and joy.
Now on earth people have their own fancies of hope. They hope to get a new car, a Corvette perhaps. Or they hope to get a higher education. Some hope for a change in the way their nation is run. How many times are many peoples hope are met with disappointment when things don’t go as they yearned for?
There are some who even got to see their wishes fulfilled but then getting a great car, education and a worthy leader made people happy for a while until the time to depart from this earth come. I mean when the time of death comes they realize that earthly hopes end at earth itself. They then hope to live more, speak to their loved ones if they aren’t near. They wonder what will become of them in the life after death. Those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus often are very skeptical about their future and try to accept things as they come.
However for a person who believes in Christ this is not a matter of guessing. Its a fact to be pondered and relished that such a person has now entered in to true eternal rest in heaven welcomed by none other than Jesus Christ himself. Jesus by the shedding of his blood on the cross and dying at Calvary took upon himself all your sins. By his resurrection he overcame all the powers of the devil and secured a place you in heaven and changed your destiny to good rather than evil. If you believe this then you have the true hope that only comes through Christ. Amen.
- “Hope For The Oppressed” (precioussheepofrenown.wordpress.com)
- Tuesday, December 17, 2013 (graceanglicancommunityjourneytobethlehem.wordpress.com)
- Quest for Joy: Six Biblical Truths (nostopministries.wordpress.com)
- THE MOST INCREDIBLE PROPHECY (purposely overlooked by Jews to their own disadvantage) (aaronhalim.wordpress.com)
- Immanuel, God with us (Part 1) (melwild.wordpress.com)
- The Child of Promise and The Nativity of Christ (captainjamesdavis.net)
- In this world you will have trouble… (faithfulstewardship.wordpress.com)