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Jesus’ Encounter with Zacchaeus

Benjamin Ng
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  • May 14, 2021
    8:25 PM
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Father in heaven, thank you so much for this time. Thank you for seeing a safely through another week. Thank you lot for this blessed holy hours that we are in. And whereas we're now coming to study your word once more. We ask for the presence of your holy spirit to teach us and to guide us and to aluminum lines to convict us and lord especially to convert the bus. You please write your law law and your words and hearts even now. And as we study help us to understand, oh lord, we pray in jesus name a man jesus encounter with zach us. And we are going to go straight to the bible here. Our 1st text is found in matthew chapter pa to me in luke chapter 19 versus one to 3. I was bitter, confused there for a 2nd. And jesus entered and passed through jericho. And behold, there was a man named, vacuous, which was the chief among the publicans. And he was rich and he sought to see jesus who he was and could not for the press because he was of little stature. Friends, what do we understand about whose vacuum was here in these 1st 3 verses that we read while he was a publican. But he wasn't just any order, no republican. The bible said that he was a chief among the publicans. And also he was rich. And on top of that, something that Best the mentioned always was vacuous, is that he was of little stature, meaning he was a shot man. Well friends, what do we understand about the publicans from the bible? What were they known for? And this is where we go to that 1st text we saw it was matthew chapter 9 and verse ten's 11. And it came to pass as jesus sat at meet in the house. Behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. When the pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, why eaters, your master with publicans and sinners, you see friends, what was a publican. It was simply a tax collector. But in matthew we got a very interesting revelation about these people. People viewed them as this honest people and they will put in the category of sinners. People actually despised them. They did not have a good reputation. They were people that will look down upon, especially in the jewish economy. And we also read and Matthew, chapter 18 and verse 17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church. But if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. They in matthew here, they will put into the same category as a heathen person. Some one who did not believe in god, even though they were jews. But why? Because they worked for the romans. You see the romans, they would get these people to collect their tax money for them, and these publicans more often than not. They were corrupt people. They would dishonest and they would take more than that was actually required to give to the roman roman rulers. And so they took advantage of their position as tax collectors to get rich. And this was no different for zach us. He was rich, remember, and probably the only way that he got rich was through being dishonest. But let's continue reading, shall we? We read here and Matthew 21 in verse 31 and 32. It's very interesting. The bible says this whether of them twain, the will of his father, they send to him the 1st jesus saith unto them. Verily i say to you that the publicans and what harlots go into the kingdom of god before you. For John came on to you in the way of righteousness and ye believed him not. But the publicans and the harlots believed him. And he, when you had seen it repented not afterward that ye might believe him. Here the publican is put in the same category as the harlot, the prostitute. This is just how much they were despised. They did not have any thought, a good reputation at all in spite of how much money they had. And zach yes. What position did he have? He was the chief of the publicans. He was the chief. He was the worst of them all. Remember back in luke, the bible said that he was rich and he had obviously obtained all these riches in a dis, honest way. But you see something had been happening in the vacuous his heart. Let's go back to that 1st text that we read. Jesus was passing through jericho and we read in luke chapter 19 and verse 3, the bible. The bible says this and he sought to see jesus who he was and could not for the press because he was little of stature. The bible says that when he heard about jesus coming through, he really wanted to see jesus. He sought to see jesus. He was seeking, he was searching and the holy spirit had obviously touched his heart somehow. And he wanted to be in touch with jesus. But there was a problem, it was too short, and the people that was standing in front of him, he couldn't see over them. And not just that they were blocking his view. They knew that he was sure they knew that they were, he was behind them. But they were not willing to let him pass through. You see, this just showed how much they despised, vacuous, but vacuous would, would not be deterred. You see, he would not allow just anybody to just block him from seeing jesus. So what did he do? It continues here in luke chapter 19 and verse 4. And he ran before and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him for he was the path that way. You see the people are blocking him. And so he runs up a head and he climbs up into a sycamore tree just so that he can see jesus as he passes by round by zacharias was a rich man. He must have been wearing his fine clothing, even. He probably slept in the the best of pajamas when he went to bed. And he had this nice robe and some nice shoes, a rich man. He is never close to such an extent where he's ready to climb a tree though you see that, but vacuous, he really, really wanted to see jesus and he would let nothing get his way. Even though the people blocked him, he would not be deterred in jeremiah $29.00. We read in verse 13 here and ye shall seek me and find me when you shall search for me with all your heart friends. If we seek god with all our heart, we will find him, the bible says, but it will require efforts on our behalf. Just look at what zachary is had to do. He had to climb a sycamore tree just so that he could get a glimpse of jesus. He demonstrated the type of faith that he had in his heart. The faith was growing. It was brewing up into action. What sort of action? While he came out from his house post to see jesus, but even though he couldn't see him, he was going to climb the tree just as get a picture of jesus. You know, you would think that because he was a short man that he could speak to the people, especially because he was rich and asked to be excused, so that he could move through to the front. But they did not like him. Remember this people, they despised him and no matter how much money he had, they would not let him through. But vacuum did not let this cold treatment from the people to deter him from his one goal. And you know, we rely a really important lesson here from zach. Yes. You know, who do those tall people represent? They represent people in the church, look that they were one thing to see jesus as they will going to where jesus was. And he would be found, quote, unquote, to day in the church. And look, friends, you've got to rumba. Just because people treat you in an impolite manner. Just because people treat you in an uncrossed like way. Don't let that be the reason as to why you should give up on your search for christ. It's going to require effort. And satan, he will put roadblocks in your path, just so that you're not able to see jesus. And sometimes those blocks that come from within the church, friends, there are people that are unconverted in the church. And I guess vacuous, he must have been used to this cold treatment from other people already because you see, they did not like him, but vacuous, did not let this deter him. From his one goal, we got to be willing to push through any situation, no matter how people treat your friends. This is what is involved. If we want to seek jesus with all our heart, it will require effort. And I'm telling you friends, if you want to find jesus, the devil knows he's going to do all that he can to discourage you. He's going to do all that he can to, to swear you from that path of determination and desire that you want. Sometimes he's just going to throw anything and everything at you. We got to be ready. If we want to seek jesus, it's going to require efforts. It's going to require determination. We've got to set our face as flints and let them allow nothing. To turn us to the left or to the right. A very interesting application also though is found in the tree because the vacuous he had to climb a sycamore tree just so he could see jesus friends. What does a tree represent in the bible? Well, let's turn to another bible text. It's found in isaiah chapter $61.00. And verse 3. The bible says this to a point to answer them that mourn in zion. To give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for morning. The garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called trees, of what trees of righteousness the planting of the Lord that he might be glorified. What does a tree represent friends? It represents trees of righteousness, a righteous person. You see friends, the righteous ones, are the ones that help others to see jesus. The tall people are the ones that blocked vacuous from seeing jesus. And yes, they were in church as well. You see friends just because you go to church, it doesn't mean that you are a righteous person, just because you're able to see jesus for yourself that fit. It doesn't mean you're righteous. You see the righteous are involved in also helping others to see jesus. In daniel chapter 3 upon me, daniel chapter 12 and verse 3. The bible says this, and they that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. And they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. The work of the church to day is to turn many people to righteousness, to assist and help others to get a glimpse of who jesus is. This is the work of the righteous and this is what we should be involved today. Yes. What is the mean? Maybe to go door knocking to give out literature. Maybe it's just simply inviting our friends to care group, maybe even in this digital age. And this locked down in this pandemic that we're in a symbol as to sharing a sermon with them to, to show them. And help them to see the word of god to show them jesus friends. It's as simple as getting on the social media there and liking a sermon that you've watched or sharing it through youtube or whatever it is. It's helping others to see jesus, friends, what are you involved with to day where you are not just only searching for jesus, but helping others to come to know about jesus as well. But let's continue shelby. Let's go to our next bible text back there in luke chapter 19 versus 5 and 6. The bible says, and when jesus came to the place, he looked up and for him and said to him, vacuous, make haste and come down. For the day I must abide at thy house and he made haste and came down and received him joyfully. Jesus, he's passing through jericho there slowly. People are surrounding him, making it difficult for him to walk. But when he gets to the place where zach is sitting over the past there, where the vacuum can have a glimpse of jesus, jesus looks up and he says, what make haste, vacuous, come down for a day, I must abide at your house, vacuous, he was overjoyed, he quickly comes down and brings jesus to his house. But how does the crowd react to though? How does the crown yet look at this? Look? 19 verse 7. And when they saw it, they all murmured saying that he was gone to be guessed with a man. That is a sinner. The ones that murmured were the ones that were blocking vacuous and the 1st place from seeing jesus, they called him what's a sinner? Can you believe it? Jesus is going to eat at the house of the man that this cold, a sinner. Horrible. The general, it sounded very much like the pharisees. You see this was the teaching the doctrine of the pharisees. When you go to mark chapter 2 and verse 16, we read this earlier just now. When the scribes and pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said to his disciples, how is it that he eats us and drink it with publicans? And soon as they could not believe that jesus, such a holy man and a prophet in their midst, they were thinking probably, why would jesus eat with publicans and sinners? In other words, the pharisees never associated themselves with such people. They really looked down on the publicans. They really despised all these sorts of people, the harlots that the heathen people, all those that didn't know about god, all those that had bad reputation, all these people, they just despised them. That in eat with those that that weren't considered pure or perfect. And it's not that jesus was making these, this publican man his best friend. It's not that he was trying to just hang out with him because he had nothing to do. No, he wanted to minister to these people that he wanted to minister to zack use. He wanted to be a blessing to them. And the people that they really dislike, vacuous. No one wanted to eat at his house, get this understanding because they despised. Like how, how can jesus unto either this man's house? vacuum was a rich man. Can you believe us? But no one wanted to eat with him. No one wanted to hang out with him. No one wanted to come to his house, even though it was probably the best house in the whole of that city. Vacuous, was a lonely man. And they didn't like him because of his position and what he did. But now jesus is coming to either this house jesus, the son of god, the savior of the world, the messiah. And zach, yes. When he hears the words of jesus, he didn't care about his robe and the clothes that he wore. He quickly came down before jesus changed his mind because jesus now the most famous person in, in all of jericho and jerusalem and israel and today and wherever he went. He was the most famous of all of them. And he wanted to come to his house. He was happy, he was overjoyed, and in the middle of the meal, while they are eating together, during the fellowship, vacuous stands up and he declares something, what is it? luke chapter 19 and verse 8, and zachary stood and said unto the Lord, behold lord, the half of my goods i give to the poor. And if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, i restore him for fault. Now do you read anywhere in what we've read so far about vacuum, where, where when jesus came to zack, his house. He said now now jack, yes. I know you've been living a dishonest lifestyle. Now it's time to get your life right. You've got to stop cheating people. Zacky is he can't be doing this all the time. Do you see anywhere where jesus had such a conversation with him? No, we don't read that. We don't see it. We don't see where jesus reprimanded him or corrected him or gave him this long speech or sermon. No. Then what was it that convicted zacharias that he needs to be an honest man and restore every one back the money that he had cheated. And the rest of the money he should give to the poor. What was it that convicted, vacuous? You see friends, it was simply jesus coming to his house. Look, he knew that he was living this honest lifestyle already. People did not even want to come to his house, even though he had such a nice house, even though he was so rich, he was lonely. Just because you have the money. It doesn't mean you have everything. And he had plenty of time to, to think of what sort of person he was. But now jesus, he's willing to come and fellowship with him. Do you see that he was willing to come and meet with him when no one else was willing to do that? And because of this, his heart was convicted and he decided finally to give his life in full surrender to jesus and do that, which is right. You know, friends, we underestimate social power especially when you are a christian. We underestimate the need of fellowship to go just to eat with somebody, not, not socializing, with people, just for the sake of hanging out because we have no friends and we're lonely, but socializing with them so that we can be a blessing to them. You know, we really underestimate what we call the power of the spoon. And I'm really speaking to those that have a place to call home. And I'm talking about not just a room that you rent from somebody, but people that have a home one or the last time that you invited someone over for lunch of dinner. When is the last time that you invited someone over that can't repay you back. Just to have a meal with you and to socialize and to hang out in a sense so that you can witness them and be a blessing to them and just meet their needs. You know, friends, this is the abrahamic covenant. This is not something new that you feel you should be doing in the new testament. No, this is something that was given back in the old testament. Let me show you in genesis chapter 12 and versus 2 and 3. This is what we read and, and got a speaking to abraham here and he says, and all make of the a great nation and all bless thee and make thy name great. And thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed friends. Do you see that god wants us to be a blessing to the whole world. But we can't be a blessing by just living our own lives and socializing within our own click groups with those that we're comfortable with. With those that just seem to go to the same church with us. And that we sit next to every single week in church. We conscious be a blessing hiding in our own homes and not eating with others. Inviting people over. We can't be that blessing when all we do is think about ourselves and who we want to hang up with and who we want to have fun with. And who we feel comfortable with. He wants us to be a blessing to those that we never normally socialize with those that we would never normally make our own friends. Maybe even to the point that society despises them. Those that cannot pay us back all just jesus did was eat with zach. Yes, and he didn't say anything else. It was then that vacuous stood up and he declared, i'm giving half of my goods to the poor. And all those that are cheated, i'm going to give them back 4 fold 4 times. That means when, when you cheated the person out of a 100, you get them back full $100.00. And this is the sort of mindset that really speaks a lot about a person. Whether they are filled with the holy spirit or not. Not, not. Zach is about giving back, but about how we are willing to eat with people. Even though they are not our friends. To sit with those and get to know them to be a blessing to them. This really speaks a lot to Well about whether we are filled with the holy ghost. You know that the holy ghost. Yeah. He wants to make us perfect. Just like jesus. He wants to wash away all our sins with the blood of jesus. He wants to make us just like jesus. And what does it mean to be just like jesus to eat with sin us to have the heart of jesus in james chapter 2 and verses $8.00 and $9.00. The bible says this, if ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. You do well. But if you have respect for persons, you commit sin and are convinced of the law as transgresses france, it's about loving your neighbor. It's about not being partial, so those are a poorer that cannot pay you back. It's about ministering to everybody. Yes, rich and poor. And in this case, we are talking about the richman that jesus was witnessing to but friends just to eat with jesus potter me to eat with sin us. It was those that you don't normally hang out with that you're not comfortable with. It takes the heart of jesus, it takes you being filled with the holy spirit to do such a thing, especially when no one else is willing to eat with that. But coming back to the story of vacuous. So he stands up and declares the jesus that he's willing to give 50 percent of all that he had for the poor. And every one that he cheated, he can restore back for fault. Now look, I don't know how zachary was able to do this. And you know, I don't know how he was able to invest and multiply his money like we are today. And probably he wasn't able to do that. But you know, when he says I'm going to give back 4 fold everything to, to, to people that are cheated. Look, he did on something. Right. But he gave 50 percent of the poor phos. And then he returned everything else back. He's taking this out of his salary that he earned as a publican. There was no other way that he could have accumulated such riches because everything that he, he, he did the cheap people. He's restoring it back. So he didn't just on a living by just cheating people, it was his salary as well, but he was using his salary to give back to those that he had cheated. And on top of that, he was giving half as roaches to the poor. Needless to say, by the end of the vacuous following through his work, 50 percent of the poor and all those I cheated on giving back fourfold. He would have been a very poor man. You know, this is such the actions of a person whose heart has been touched by christ. They're willing to sacrifice to make things right. Again. Zacharias was willing to sacrifice all his riches to be a follower of christ. And how does jesus respond? Well, we read and luc 19 versus $9.00 to $10.00. And jesus said unto him this day if salvation come to this house, for so much as he also is a son of abraham. For the son of man is come to seek and save that, which was lost. Jesus declared that zachary was on the right track. And it did not matter how much money or how little money he had. Jesus was coming to seek and to save that, which was lost. He said this day is salvation. Come to this house. You know, we sit back and we look at the story right. It might have seemed impulsive for zach us to stand up and make such a bold statement in giving all his riches away. The reason why we don't is because many of us we grew up in the story of zach us and we know the story already, but we don't think too much about it. But if you were sitting there and you were eating with jesus and zach us and you saw what would have happened, you might have thought that vacuous was being impulsive. Exactly as why you're doing this. Why you just standing of all a sudden just because jesus came to eat at your house, but you see friends, this wasn't impulsive. It was the work of the holy spirit on the heart to the world and sometimes to many people in church. Sometimes we see these people make really drastic decisions in their lives, like giving up all their riches or selling everything and going be a missionary in a 3rd world country and some foreign land far away. Or even taking time off from their life. From this studies from the work suited to go and study at a bible school like salt. Maybe people might think you're being unplugged impulsive. You go to a youth conference and you hear this preacher preaches powerful sermon and the holy spirit. Take the hold of your hearts and convicts you and you stand up. You say god, I wanna surrender my life to you and serve you. Then there needs to be drastic change in my life and we make a decision there. And sometimes people see these people as being impulsive or being too emotional, making emotional decision without thinking about it. But you see friends, that's how we would view sac yesterday. Based upon what he did, all jesus did was come to eat at his house. And he like, I'm selling 50 percent, i'm giving away 50 percent. Pardon me, of all I have to the poor and everything else. People. I cheated and get him then back. Full false, why not just the why fall full play us to give so much vacuum you know, 400 percent. That's a lot. So that, that takes years and years of investing to get that doesn't make sense and we, we would call vacuous impulse if you're not thinking about to go back and sleep on this and just think about this 1st. Zach. Yes, but friends know that was the work of god, work of the holy spirit. In his heart, he was willing to sacrifice every thing so that he could gain every thing that heaven wanted for him. And this was in harmony with what christ once had. He said this day is salvation. Come to this house, but you know, friends, we've already studied about another richman before Oh you in this encounter series? It was jesus his encounter with the rich young ruler. Remember he came to jesus and he said good master. What? Good thing can I do to inherit eternal life? And do you remember what jesus said to him? Let's go to luke chapter 18. It's just the previous chapter. Here is the tale of 2 rich men. Here's the 2nd one whom we've already studied. Luke 1822. Now when jesus heard these things, he said unto him, yet lack us thou one thing. So all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor and dal shall have treasure in heaven and come follow me. You see that jesus told him to sell everything and, and do you remember the story? If you know jesus didn't go straight to that, you know, he said, well keep the comments and which one and he, he quoted all the last 641 don't covet and he repeated don't steal twice, which is exactly what the vacuum had been doing. This rich young ruler said, I've been keeping all these things from my youth, vacuous, knew he had not been keeping any of these things for many years. But when jesus had sell everything, how did the rich i'm really respond. Luke 1823. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful for he was very rich, he didn't want to part with his riches, but yet vacuous, jesus never said anything to him. And he willingly parted with the rich why? The holy spirit was looking for his hot already. The holy spirit was, was working also on the heart of, of this rich young ruler. But he was not willing to let it go. She wanted the world. He did not want jesus. But now we see sac, his, his actions lined up with what jesus told the rich young ruler he was willing to sell everything and distribute 50 percent of that to the poor and restore everyone else fourfold. What he had cheated, the jesus proves in luke chapter 19 right after his encounter with the rich young ruler. He proves that it is possible for a rich man to be saved. Do you see that the change in his heart was seen in his sacrifice for god and for his neighbor? You know, friends, can you see jesus? Have you pardon me? Have you seen jesus to day, to the extent that you are experiencing sacrifice in your life for others? Not just your family. Not just for your good buddies and your friends. But are you experiences the thought of self sacrifice for the sake of jesus and the gospel? Are you going beyond the limits of, of what you normally do in whether it's asleep, whether it's your time or your money, or your food, or your expenses, or whatever it is, just to be a blessing to somebody else? Or are you so absorbed, self absorbed in your own life? In your own self interests and all that copy occupies your mind, your own studies, your own work, your own own money, your own family, your own future direction. Self, self, self, self, self, me, myself and I are you so caught up with yourself that you don't have time to be a blessing to other people around you? Can jesus look into your heart and see that you love god and that you love your neighbor truly as yourself? If not, then you need to let jesus into your heart to day. You see the invitation that that jesus gave the vacuous she gives to you today as well. Come down today, I want to eat with you. In revelation chapter 3 in verse 20, the bible says this. Behold, i stand at the door and knock if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will suck with him. And he, with me. The invitation that jesus gave to zach. Yes. He's given to you today as well. He wants to eat with you. He wants to show you how much he loves you. He wants to be a guest in your heart to day. But it's your decision to make. Do you want to let him come in? Do you want to let him walk that changing your life? Are you too afraid of everything that you're going to lose and have to sacrifice for the sake of jesus? But at the expense of your joy and your happiness and fulfilled life? For friends? When we choose the world and all that, it has to offer to us, it ends in misery. Death. It ends in, in just faith in making your life miserable and horrible. There is no fulfilment in it for a jesus. He's offering you something better to day. And he wants to come in in once to give you a different purpose outlook in this life. Why don't you surrender you like to him and see how good he is to you and how much he loves you. And then how much he wants to make you a blessing for others as well. Friends, are you willing to open the door of your heart to jesus this day? I hope that we can see that in the vacuous who was such a rich and he was willing to let jesus come. Oh, he was waiting. He was waiting for jesus to make that invitation. And today, I know that jesus is making that invitation to us. Will you let him come in? Are you willing to let him come in and change your life from the inside to the I hope that is your desire. That you're willing to surrender, that you're willing to open it all to let jesus in today. Let us pray. Father in heaven. Lord, so many of us we just go to church once a week and we come back. But we never let you in as a guest into our heart. We never let you remain. Oh lord we, we want to be just more than christians by name. We want to be christ filled. We want to be spirit filled. We want to be like jesus. And father, i pray that you please be when my brothers and sisters were listening this evening that we would be willing to give you a chance in our life to taste and see that you are good to be willing to open the door of a hot. Oh lord, please. We know that you are willing to come in. It's only now the decision is in our court. Police lot. Teach us to surrender. Teach us the taste you to give you a child left all of us here alone continue to guide frame jesus. Ah, ah, this media was brought to you by audio purse, a web site dedicated to spreading god's word through free sermon audio, and much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon, please visit w W W dot audio verse dot org.

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