HOW ZACCHAUES WAS SAVED
Intro: We can all remember the little song we sang in VBS about
Zacchaeus. Do you remember that song?
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.
And as the Savior passed that way,
He looked up in that tree,
And He said “Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I’m going to your house today!”
That little song contains a whole lot of Bible truth, about as much as any
song I ever learned in my life. But, it doesn’t tell the whole story! Oh,
Zacchaeus met Jesus and Jesus called him down out of that tree, but that
isn’t the whole tale! Oh no! Far more happened that day!
You see, when Zacchaeus climbed up into that tree, he was a lost
sinner, but by the time he got back to the ground he was a child of God. I
am interested in how that happened in his life. You know why? Because
it has happened in my life, it has happened in the lives of other people in this
room and it can happen in your life as well. Let’s take a few minutes to look
at this passage and consider together this thought: How Zacchaeus Got
I. V. 1-4 HE EXPERIENCED A DIVINE CONFRONTATION
A. V. 2 His Description - He was chief of the publicans and he was
rich. He was no doubt despised and hated by all the people in
Jericho and the surrounding area. After all, he was an employee of
the Roman government. The publicans were tax collectors and were
notorious for overcharging the people. If Rome, for example, levied
a 5% tax, the tax collectors could charge 10% or 15% or whatever
they wished. As a result the publicans were guilty of gross extortion
of the people. They were viewed as the worst of sinners!
B. V. 3 His Desire - The Bible is clear when it says that Zacchaeus was
a rich man. He had grown that way on the backs of his fellow Jews.
Still it would seem that his money wasn’t able to quiet the turmoil in
his soul. His position would have given him much power over
peoples and properties. It may be that Zacchaeus had a “Napoleon
Complex”. He was short and perhaps he tried to compensate for
this by throwing his power around. Yet, his power and position
couldn’t satisfy him. It seems that something in his life is missing!
Then he hears that Jesus is passing that way and he wanted to see
C. V. 4 His Decision - Because he is a small man, he is unable to see
the road for the crowds that have gathered to see Jesus as He
passed by. Not to be deterred, Zacchaeus finds a tree and climbs
up into it to see Who this Jesus is. What was it that made this small
man humble himself like a little child to climb a tree so that he might
see above the crowds? What was it that got him so interested in this
man named Jesus?
I think he had heard some stories. Perhaps he had heard how an old blind
man named Bartimaeus had been healed earlier that very day, Luke
18:35-43. Zacchaeus probably knew Bartimaeus! Maybe he had heard
the stories about how Jesus had healed sick folks, cast out demons and
even raised the dead. Maybe he had heard about the miracles and the claims
of Jesus. Maybe, in spite of his power, his position and his prosperity,
Zacchaeus was a miserable, lonely man who knew something was missing from
his life. He had everything but the one thing that mattered and when he
heard about what Jesus had done for others, it may have stirred his heart.
Maybe he began to think about what Jesus could do for him. I think that’s
why he climbed that tree that day. He wanted help and he wanted peace
and nothing he had tried had given him either. When he heard that Jesus
was passing through Jericho, he may have thought, “Surely
this Man Who has done so much for others can do something for me. I’ve
got to see Him for myself!” By the way, it was no accident
that Zacchaeus heard about Jesus! God was working ahead through His Spirit
in the heart of this little lost man.
What a picture Zacchaeus is many those who do not know the Lord Jesus!
From every outward appearance they give the impression that they have
it all together and that all is well in their lives. But, if you could
rip off the veneer and look into their hearts, you would find that most
folks are empty. They are longing for something they do not have. They
are hunger and they cannot be satisfied by their sins, by their possessions
or by their lifestyles. They need something and they do not know what!
(Ill. Some lost people will try anything and everything to scratch their
Then, one day they see a changed life, they hear a sermon, they
hear a Gospel song, or some event takes place in their lives and they
are introduced to Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God begins to point them
in His direction! I know that is how it worked for me! He began to show
me that all the things I was seeking weren’t the things that could satisfy.
But, it was the Bartimaeus’s around me that began to get my attention.
It was the lepers he had healed. It was the lives He had changed. It
impressed into my heart by the Spirit of God that what Jesus had done
in the lives of others, He could do in my life too!
is the essence of conviction! The Spirit of God confronts the lost sinner
with the claims and demands of the Gospel, John
16:7-11. By the way, this is an essential component in the process
V. 5 HE
EXPERIENCED A DIVINE CALL
As Jesus passed the place where Zacchaeus was up in that tree, Jesus stopped
and began to speak to Zacchaeus. He issued a call to this little man.
This call would result in an eternal change of life for the tax collector.
Let’s listen in. )
Was A Personal Call - When Jesus spoke, he called Zacchaeus
by his name, which means “Pure”
by the way! I doubt many people called Zacchaeus by his name. Most probably
had some nasty little names for him. I doubt many called him “Pure”.
But Jesus saw him, not as he was, but as he could become through the power
am sure Zacchaeus thought he would get up in that tree, watch Jesus go
by, then climb down and go home. He never expected the Lord to stop and
talk to him. When Jesus did stop and when He did speak to this man, Jesus
called him by his name. The very One Who had been offended the most, was
the One Who spoke to Him in love and compassion! Don’t you think
old Zacchaeus almost fell out of that tree when he heard Jesus call him
by his name? All this does is show us that the Lord began looking for
Zacchaeus before Zacchaeus ever started looking for the Lord! (Note:
When the Lord calls a lost person to come to Him, He does not issue blanket
calls. When He calls it is personal! When He began to call me, I found
out that He knew my name. I also found out that He knew everything that
I had ever done in my life. I also found out that this God, Whom I had
so greatly offended, loved me with a love eternal and unspeakable,
Jer. 31:3; Rom. 5:8. When He called me, it was a very personal
call. If you are saved, you can testify to that fact as well! Notice the
personal nature of God’s salvation call - John
7:37; Rev. 22:17; John 6:37.)
Was A Plain Call - “Make
haste and come down” - The Lord told Zacchaeus exactly
what he was supposed to do! There would be no debating, there would be
no need for second guessing. Jesus was clear and He was plain. (Note:
When the Lord calls a lost sinner to Himself for salvation, He will leave
no doubt about what he expects them to do! You see, people may not know
how to pray when they get before the Lord, but they know what they need!
They know they are pressed under a heavy weight of sin. They know they
have offended a holy God. They know Jesus is their only hope and they
know He is the key to getting that sin taken care of. They know that He
has a plan and that following His plan in t heir only hope! He does have
a plan! It is a simple plan. In fact, it is as easy as ABC.
A - Acknowledge yourself to be a sinner - Rom.
- Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ - Acts
16:31; Rom. 10:9-10.
- Consider yourself saved - John 6:37-40;
is His plan and it never fails!)
Was A Promising Call - The words of Jesus promised much
more than a casual meeting under a tree. Jesus said “I
must abide at your house”. “Zacchaeus,
none of your neighbors will come home with you. No one in this town will
have anything to do with you, but I want you to know that I, the Lord
of Glory am coming to your house!” What a promise! (Note:
I found when I got saved that my association with Jesus wasn’t going
to be confined to that altar or even to the church house. When I got saved,
He went home with me, and He has never left! I also found out that He
wasn’t going to leave anything at my house like He found it. He
was going to change everything to suit Him. Many of you can testify to
that truth today! You see, a life cannot stay the same when Jesus moves
in, 2 Cor 5:17. Neither can a marriage!
Neither can a home. Neither can any relationship in life. When He comes
in, He changes everything to suit Him! He makes everything different and
He makes everything better! Zacchaeus is about to find that out too!)
V. 6-10 HE
EXPERIENCED A DIVINE CONVERSION
Before he can set his feet back on the ground, Zacchaeus is a new man.
Notice what happened in his life.)
V. 6 He
Heeded The Call - Zacchaeus did exactly what the Lord has
told him to do. He made haste and he came down. But, the Scripture also
says that he “received Him”.
The word “received”
is a big word! In the original it means “to
receive as guest; to receive beneath the surface; to take in”.
The idea hear is that Zacchaeus received Jesus as guest, but at the same
time, he was receiving Jesus into his heart as well. He had heard the
claims, he had heard the call, now he makes the commitment! (Note:
What is what salvation is all about! The lost person hears the claims
of the Gospel, they feel the call of the Spirit and they receive Jesus
by faith. Many go through steps one and two, but they never make it to
step three. To be saved, you must come to that place where you come down
from where ever you are in life and commit to Jesus. The Bible is crystal
clear, faith is the only component that will bring you into a saving relationship
with God, John 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9; John
V. 8 He
Demonstrated A Change - It doesn’t take long for the
new Zacchaeus to appear! He stands and makes a bold promise to give away
half of his fortune and to restore fourfold anyone he has taken anything
from under false pretenses. I wonder if his ears were shocked to hear
what his mouth was saying? All he is doing here is publically renouncing
the old life of sin, lying, cheating and extortion and he is embracing
the new life of faith and holy living. Zacchaeus is merely displaying
the kind of change Jesus makes in all those He saves by His grace! (Note:
When you meet Jesus, you will never be the same! Ill. Eze.
36:36; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10!)
V. 9-10 He
Received A Confirmation - He knew he was different, but
it was confirmed by the words of the Savior. Jesus told Zacchaeus and
anyone who was listening that this man was a saved man, that he was a
new man in the Lord. (Note: Salvation always brings with
the assurance that it is real. There is an inner witness, Rom.
8:16; 1 John 3:19-22; 1 John 5:10, and there is an outer witness,
James 2:18; 2 Cor. 1:12. Do you
have the inner witness of the Spirit to support your profession of faith?
Do you have the outward witness of a changed life to support your profession
of faith? If both are there, then rejoice, for it demonstrates the truth
of what you claim to be. It is as if Jesus Himself were saying about you
what He said about Zacchaeus!)
Jesus closes His remarks with a clear mission statement. He says “For
the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
It is as if Jesus was saying to anyone in that room that day, and to anyone
who would ever read or hear these words, “What
has happened to Zacchaeus can happen to you!”
is still true today! If your life lacks meaning, if there is no hope,
if everything you have tried has left you defeated, discouraged, disillusioned
and looking for more, then Jesus is your answer. You don’t have
to climb a tree to meet Him, all you have to do is to respond to His call
and come to Him right now. If you will do that and if you will receive
Him, He will save your soul! Are you saved? Would you like to be? Do what
He is telling you today! Even if you are saved but out of God’s
will, you come. If you just want to bow at His feet and say “Thank
you for stopping where I was that day and saving me.”, you come.