God’s Way                  July 16, 2017

Luke 19:1-10 “He entered Jericho and was passing through.  And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.  And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature.  So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”  So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”  And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  

Many will remember this scripture by the little song that reminds us “Zacchaeus was a wee, little man,
And a wee, little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see”

 We tend to lose sight of the reality that this text is not about Zacchaeus but instead about how God effected Zacchaeus’ life and family.

This scripture is about God and how God reaches us, the hurting people who need Him.

God’s Way, not our way.

  1. God’s Way is to be there
    1. Jesus was “passing through” Jericho
      1. He was not there by accident
      2. God knew there were lost and hurting people there who needed Him immensely
  • God knew Zacchaeus’ need long before Zacchaeus knew his need
  1. God is everywhere
    1. He is exactly where you need Him
    2. He is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
  • He is near everyone who calls on Him in truth – Psalm 145:18
  1. He is the God who is near – Jeremiah 23.23
  2. He is not far from each of us – Acts 17:27
  1. God’s Way is to know everything about us
    1. He knew who Zacchaeus was
    2. He knew him and his family
    3. He knew his sins and his need for salvation
    4. He knew Zacchaeus was ready for new life
    5. He knew Zacchaeus had to repent
  2. God’s way is to show us His Way.
    1. We need to Know that God’s Way is the BEST way
    2. He knew Zacchaeus was trying to see Him Zacchaeus’ own way
      1. He climbed up a tree
        1. Was not really thinking of a personal relationship
          1. God was
        2. Contrast with the Lady with the issue of blood who crawled on her belly though a crowd to reach Jesus and just touch the hem His robe. God had more for both of them!
        3. He made Zacchaeus come down from the tree he found himself up for all the wrong reasons
          1. Ever found yourself up a tree or out on a limb?
          2. He was about to begin a new personal relationship with Zacchaeus
  • But FIRST Zacchaeus had to come down from the tree…undo the WORKS he had done
  1. What barrier or DISTANCE have you put up to Jesus?
  2. Are you wanting to see who Jesus is but have no real interaction with Him?
  3. Maybe you think it is enough to get “in the same general area” as Jesus but not get to know Him?
  1. Zacchaeus repented – he changed his heart and promised to restore what he had stolen
    1. Even while the ones he would return the money to were grumbling and complaining that Jesus was going to his house
  2. God’s Way is to bring salvation
    1. Jesus came to seek and save the lost
    2. Jesus saves
    3. Even the worst of sinners with the worst reputations
    4. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
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