We continue with our sermon series ‘People who have encountered Jesus’.
Luke is the only Gospel writer to include the encounter of Zacchaeus and Jesus in unusual circumstances. A short man who was infamously known in Jericho for being a crooked tax collector and traitor would ultimately experience an encounter of a lifetime that changed his life. Despite the dissatisfaction of the crowd, Jesus was warmly welcomed in the house of Zacchaeus.
When we review our own encounters with Jesus, we may find that a small step of faith toward Him brings a penetrating and revealing response from Him. He meets our mild curiosity, fearful examination, or guilty confrontation with a shocking invitation to be known, accepted and forgiven. (excerpt from Life Application Study Bible)
Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.” – Luke 19:9-10 MSG
A Short account from Luke about a short man, but the impact of Zacchaeus encountering Jesus was colossal!
This morning, as we examine the Messiah’s powerful impact, let us consider the following points from Luke’s account.
- Jesus transcends societal barriers – Luke 18:35-37, 42-43 & 19:1-4, 9-10
Whether you are ostracised on the outskirts of society, blind with no money or a wealthy businessman or woman, all are welcome to encounter Jesus!
Reflect – Where were you when you encountered the Lord Jesus?
- How do we deal with a bad reputation? Luke 19:7
The crowd struggled to understand why Jesus would desire fellowship in the home of a crooked tax collector. Tax collectors were among the most unpopular people in Israel, he would make himself rich of the backs of his own people.
- Encountering Jesus requires change – Luke 19:8-10
Zacchaeus of his own free will decided to do something about his sin. He gave away his income to the poor and further repay those where cheated four times the amount.
Like Zacchaeus, we cannot pay any amount of money to cover our sin and transgressions; only the shed blood of Jesus is the acceptable sacrifice for our sins. However, as a result of Salvation, we are called to a life of fruit-bearing. We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, to honour and please the God of our Salvation through good works.
Challenge – Since our encounter initial encounter with Jesus, are we holding onto something that Jesus is calling us to give up? Through the power of the Holy Spirt, prayer and even fasting, Jesus is willing to help us live a life of total freedom from the barriers of sin.
House group Questions
Q: Like Zacchaeus, in what ways has your encounter with Jesus changed you?
Q: Jesus, I am sure is the best encounter you have ever experienced; however, discuss some other people you have met that have made a positive impact on your life and how?
Q: Like Zacchaeus, we may have encountered individuals with a bad reputation, how should we interact and deal with such people?
Q: What implications do encounters with people like Zacchaeus have for the church? What practical things can we do as a local church to welcome all people?
Whenever I prepare for Sermons, The Holy Spirit always reminds me of hymns and songs, some of which I haven’t heard sung for a long time. This week I was prompted to an old song we used to sing during the altar call growing up in Calvary Temple.
Be blessed as we reflect on our own encounter’s with Jesus but also the powerful potential of the Gospel to touch many more.
I was bound when I knelt at that old altar,
But they said Jesus could meet ev’ry need;
And when this pris’ner finally touched Jesus,
He set me free, praise the Lord, free indeed!
Touching Jesus is all that matters,
Then your life will never be the same;
There is only one way to touch Him,
Just believe when you call on His name.
Sermon Title: How do we deal with a bad reputation?
Bible Reading: Luke 19:1-10 [MSG]
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Brian Dickson