Lessons from Zacchaeus: Lost and Found

 

Luke 19:1-10

1Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. 

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. 

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” 

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” 

 

I love the story of Zacchaeus. I love the lessons in it. The truth that if you want God to change your life, He can, and will. Zacchaeus knew what he was. He knew what people thought about him. But he wanted Jesus. He wanted to change. So how does he teach us to do that? 

  • Lesson 1: Want to see Jesus, no matter what it takes. (v. 3) 
  • Lesson 2: Put your pride aside. It would have to be a humbling experience to be so small that you have to climb a tree to see. (v. 4) 
  • Lesson 3: Accept His invitation and answer His call. Jesus calls to us, but few answer. Be willing to accept and answer. (v. 5) 
  • Lesson 4: Meet Him with excitement and joy. This is your Savior! Be excited about Him, be excited about salvation! (v. 6) 
  • Lesson 5: Let Him find you and change you. He can. (v. 8, 10) 

So there you have it, five simple lessons from Zacchaeus. They worked for him, I’m sure they can work for us too. Zacchaeus was lost, until he found the Jesus that had been looking for him. 

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Don’t Taint the Waters

2 Kings 5 – The Healing of Naaman 

So, certainly read the story yourself, but I will give a brief synopsis. There was a guy named Naaman that the king really liked. Naaman had leprosy, a contagious skin disease. It’s actually surprising that he would have such a high rank as an army commander since lepers we usually “banned” from society. 

Anyway, a young servant girl to his wife told Naaman he should go see the prophet Elisha to be healed. Elisha tells Naaman to bathe in the Jordan River seven times and he will be restored. Naaman is outraged at the menial instructions and asks why he should bathe in the Jordan River since there are better rivers than it. His officers tell him if it had been something extraordinary he was told to do he would’ve listened to the prophet’s command, so why not listen to his simple instructions? 

So, Naaman agree, goes to the Jordan and bathes seven times, and is healed! 

Many of us are like Naaman. We’re in a jam and we want to tell God how He should get us out of it. We want something and want to tell God how to give it. But that’s not how it works. 

The thing that has always stuck out to me was that Naaman felt that he should bathe in the best waters. That’s crazy right? Naaman has a contagious skin disease and he wants to get in the good, clean water? 

And just like Naaman, we have our own contagions, don’t we? We want a good godly man, but don’t want to be godly women, thus we taint the relationship. We want a promotion, but don’t want to learn and mature for it, tainting the position. Or better yet, we want a big salary, knowing we haven’t been good stewards of what we currently have, tainting our finances. 

When you’ve been involved in something with no intention or effort to make it better, every now and then, God has to keep us out of the good water so we don’t mess them up too. But, yet and still, God in His infinite wisdom, love, and care, still uses the menial to perform the miraculous.  

So ask yourself, are you keeping the waters clean? 

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Study this Book – Proverbs 23

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Study this Book – Proverbs 22

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Study this Book – Proverbs 21

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Study this Book – Proverbs 20

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Study this Book – Proverbs 19

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