G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

Sunday Notes

on September 18, 2016

I have done so much driving over the past two days, first to Ft. Hood and then yesterday to Lubbock.  Honestly, I did not feel up to driving into town today for church.I did however want to meet with the Lord, so I attending the local Baptist church here in our area.  Plus it helps to build relationship with local people that we don’t know many of.

Todays sermon was presented by the retired church pastor as the current pastor is ill and had just gotten out of the hospital.  He spoke about Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10.  Zaccheus was the richest man in town being the tax collector and am sure he was unapologetic in his ways. This in turned made him a very despised and shunned man. If I asked you to describe another attribute about him, you would probably say short, of small stature.  This who Zaccheus was in the morning when he awoke.

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His choice to be a tax collector made him go against his roots of being a Jew.  Perhaps he had been ridiculed as a child and took on the thought that if he could be rich and powerful, then people would respect him someday.  This is speculation on my part, but it is natural for us as humans to feel as if we can just have what we don’t already have, then we will finally be happy.

1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him,[a] and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

It says he ‘sought to see who Jesus was’.  Was this mere curiosity?  I don’t quite think it was just that.  God seeks us first and awaits for us to answer His call.  So I would guess his curiosity came from within where the calling was growing.

Jesus had just healed a blind man at the end of chapter 15 so there was a crowd following and praising Jesus.  Zacchaeus knew this would present a problem since he was short, so he climbed into sycamore tree to be sure he would see Jesus. As Jesus passed, he stopped below the tree where Zaccheus was.  I can picture him not even looking up before calling out to Zaccheus.  Jesus calls him down so that He can stay with him.

That did not make the crowd or townsfolk happy at all.  Jesus traded the company of the whole crowd for the one who had seeked him. They just couldn’t understand why Jesus would want to be in the presence of such a vile sinner.  Ummm, hello?!?!  THAT is WHY Jesus came (See verse 10).  And current christians do that even now.  Sometimes it’s out of pride or arrogance; and other times out of ignorance.

Imagine the crowd.  At one moment they are praising God for the miracles and goodness His Son has done.  Then the next moment bashing one of God’s very children.  God commands us to love one another.  It did not say love one another if they are worthy.

Because Zacchaeus received Jesus as his Savior, he was changed.  Jesus did not change Zacchaeus’s circumstances, yet changed his heart.  By that evening, he had decided to give 1/2 of his worth to the poor, as well as repay 4x’s the amount that he may have ever cheated anyone.  Even though this could bankrupt him.  He was still short, still disposed and now without the status of his richest, but he was happy with complete joy in his circumstances.

This part reminded me of a part of an old biblical movie we watched before Hubby went back to work, The Robe.  There was a woman who had been completely bitter and angry about being lame.  Yet, after meeting Jesus, although still lame, she was filled with joy and happiness.  When the Roman soldier questioned how she could be ‘healed’ but still lame, her response touched my heart.  She said it took her a little while to realize that had he healed her physically it would have been a miracle, but the fact that she can find joy and happiness despite her circumstances shows an even greater miracle.

Have you tried reaching out to someone to share the gospel with or invite them to church? And after a while you give up on them and think it’s no use, they will never become a christian?  Why do we give up on them when God hasn’t?  Sometimes we all need this little reminder.

 

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