2Zacchaeus was an adult who had acquired a great deal of wealth; yet it wasn’t satisfied withhis life or himself. Climbing that tree - maybe out of curiosity or even desperation – changedhis life forever! Jesus is an equal opportunity Messiah. He’ll come to us at any time totransform & change our lives, circumstances & situations forever! Additionally, when we facedifficult & challenging circumstances, God is most able to reach us – when we up a figurativetree, looking for something or someone we don’t even know we need – some of us here thismorning are in a season of challenge & maybe even transition. Jesus is calling us all to himin order to positively change our lives & the lives of those around us.
ZACCHAEUS’ TRANSFORMATION WAS A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION, BUT NOT ALLWERE HAPPY:
Jesus had to have gotten weary of all the “negative nellies” that followed him around or methim whenever he entered into a town. You might know (or be a negative nelly). NegativeNellies can rarely see the good in any situation or person. Negative Nellies are envious & jealous of anyone & everyone – no matter what they have in their own lives. Negative nelly isthe twin sister of gossipy grumbler. Look at verse 7:
All who saw it (Jesus’ acceptance of Zack, calling him out of the tree & going to Zack’shouse) began to grumble & said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.”
So, like who in Jericho was NOT a sinner? What the gossipy grumblers
meant wasZack is an especially
sinner & he is unworthy. Jesus should have come to my house,not Zack’s house. Zack doesn’t deserve Jesus’ attention AND even though we’ve allcomplained for years about Zack’s greed, we don’t Jesus to actually change or transform him.Because who would we gossip about & hate on then?
ZACCHAEUS DIDN’T JUST TALK ABOUT CHANGING, HE OFFERED ACTUAL STEPS (&SIGNS) THAT HIS LIFE HAD BEEN CHANGED:
With only one day with Jesus, Zack changed so much that he gave 50% of his wealth to thepoor & then repaid people he’d defrauded through his government contract with the Romans.Don’t you wish the CEO’s of Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, Enron & Burney Madoff hadencountered Jesus & agreed to give 50% of their wealth to the poor while repaying people4xs what they’d lost?
When we’re truly following Christ, our lives will reflect that priority – our lives will offer faithful examples of knowing Jesus – through not only our words, but also our actions, prioritization of time, resources & giftedness.CLOSING:
In closing, it wasn’t until Zack expressed his commitment to “make amends” through hisactions – by giving away his money – that Jesus declared in verses 9-10:
Today, salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek & to save the lost.
TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON
…& it’s always in season to walk with God throughour seasons of challenge, our season of grief & loss, our seasons of transition & even in thegood seasons of transformation, increased blessings & spiritual growth.
In all seasons: Love God & love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22: 37-40)
In all seasons: Treat people like you want to be treated (Matt. 7:12)
In all seasons: Do justice, love mercy & walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8)