1. In Luke 15:1-2 we read about 2 ways in which people responded to Jesus. a.(vs.1) The publicans and sinners approached Jesus to hear Him. b.(vs.2) The Pharisees and scribes murmured because the Lord associated with people they considered to be sinners. 2.Both responses can also be detected in Luke 19:1-10. 3.Let us begin by looking at . . .
I.THE SETTING FOR WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS OCCASION
A.According to Luke 18:31-33, Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem. B.Before reaching Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Jericho. C.Luke tells about the Lord's dealings with 2 men as He passed through Jericho. 1.(Luke 18:35-43) Jesus gave sight to a blind man. 2.(Luke 19:1-10) Jesus met Zacchaeus.
II.THE LORD'S ENCOUNTER WITH ZACCHAEUS
A.Zacchaeus is introduced in vs.2. 1.He "was the chief among the publicans." 2."Publicans" [tax collectors] are mentioned many times in the Gospels. a.They were Jews who collected taxes from the Jews for the Romans. b.The Jews despised them because of their involvement with Rome. c.Unfortunately, some publicans took advantage of their fellow Jews. 3.Luke also informs us that Zacchaeus "was rich." B.(vs.3-4) Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus as He passed through Jericho. 1.Perhaps he had heard about the Lord's dealings with publicans. a.Jesus had chosen a publican [Matthew] to be an apostle. b.Jesus ate with publicans. c.Jesus said in Matthew 11:19 that He was known as "a friend of publicans." 2.Although Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, he could not -- he was too short. 3.To see Jesus he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up into a tree. C.(vs.5) As Jesus passed by He saw Zacchaeus in the tree, Jesus called Zacchaeus by name, and Jesus invited Himself to his home. D.Notice the joy in vs.6 as Zacchaeus received Jesus -- out of all the people present, the Lord chose to be a guest at the home of a chief publican. E.Unfortunately, the other people present murmured (vs.7). 1.They saw Zacchaeus as "a sinner." 2.Publicans are mentioned in connection with "sinners" (Matthew 9:11), "heathens" (Matthew 18:17), and "harlots" (Matthew 21:31). 3.It is true that some publicans took advantage of people, but other publicans had some very good qualities. a.They went to John to be baptized (Luke 3:12-13). b.They heard the Lord's teaching while others rejected it (Luke 7:29-30). 4.Zacchaeus was not one of the evil publicans. F.(vs.8) Zacchaeus defended himself. 1.He was generous -- he gave half of his goods to the poor. 2.He restored fourfold anything he had taken wrongfully [the law only required a fifth part -- Numbers 5:7]. G.(vs.9) Jesus brought salvation to the home of Zacchaeus and identified him as "a son of Abraham." H.Jesus revealed His mission in vs.10.
1.Let us make three points of application from our study. 2.First, Jesus had a mission -- He has given us a mission (Matthew 28:19-20). 3.Second, Jesus identified Zacchaeus as a child of Abraham -- we learn from Galatians 3:27-29 how we become Abraham's children today. 4.Third, Zacchaeus was filled with joy when he came in contact with Jesus -- when a person is saved there is reason for joy (Luke 15:10; Acts 8:39).