This is an on-going series that provide an “overflow” of information or application from my weekly preaching. A preacher cannot, nor should not, get everything into a sermon. These will be posts that give some direction and resources related to the sermon that will help people better understand and apply the passage.
The story of Zacchaeus is mostly known by the children’s song. But it’s far most important than just that some interesting (and humorous) facts about a short man in a sycamore tree. It’s a story of faith, salvation, and discipleship. It’s a story of misplaced worship and a misunderstood mission. And at the center of it all stands Jesus. In fact, though Jesus will teach and interact with groups from now until the cross, this is the last personal encounter recorded by Luke. This story of Jesus and Zacchaeus is a true, historical event. But it’s also exemplary. There is a pattern here can Luke has been repeating over and over again throughout his Gospel. He is not only showing the power of Christ to save and change lives, the basic response of discipleship that should follow. When one encounters Jesus for salvation, we see the desperate need of need, the grace of a seeking Savior, and the evident change of a regenerated life. The result is a life that follows Christ as a disciple. Such a life begins with humble faith which is followed by joyful obedience and sacrifice partnership in Christ’s mission to spread the gospel.
This sermon has been uploaded and is available for you to download or listen to the sermon here.
When it comes to the idea of joining Jesus in his mission, Eric Simmons has a great article on the practicalities of the missional life. It’s aimed at pastors teaching their people but any believer will benefit from the article.
Finally, I made use of Thomas Chalmers’ sermon “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection” in my application.