Luke 19:1-10

From Stress to Rest: Salvation Has Come

Actor/comedian Richard Pryor said, “There was a time in my life when I thought I had everything - millions of dollars, mansions, cars, nice clothes, beautiful women, and every other materialistic thing you can imagine. Now I struggle for peace.”

• Luke 12:21, “A person is a fool to store up earthy wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

• The goal of this series is to find rest spiritually and less stress financially. That can happen through wise stewardship. • Stewardship of our earthly things is often the way God disciples us into a richer relationship with Him.

Luke 19:1 (NLT), Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. 5 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.” 6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.

Who was Zacchaeus?

• He was a Jewish man – but a Jew in name only. • He lived in Jericho – a major trade center and prosperous city. • He was a Chief tax collector – He managed a whole team of collectors. • Zacchaeus was Rich by collecting taxes from his fellow Jews and neighbors. Tax collectors were called “tax farmers.” Zacchaeus would have had Roman Soldiers with him if he came knocking on the door at tax time. Zacchaeus made his wealth by extortion and robbing his own people blind. • He was Short. • A Sinner – A sinner is one who is way off mark, one who falls far short of what God approves. • Zacchaeus was a greedy and dishonest man.
• Rarely does anyone admit – that greed is a problem. Greed is an invisible sin, a silent killer, to the person who has it. • Greed makes you want more and more, but greed means you enjoy it less and less. • Zacchaeus’ self-worth came from his financial worth. He was the Uncle Scrooge of Jericho. • Zacchaeus is Curious. He wants to see Jesus. Like a child, he runs ahead of the crowd, and climbs a tree. His curiosity will be rewarded!

Luke 19:5 (NLT), 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.” 6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.

• There is an urgency in Jesus’ words. I MUST be a guest in your home TODAY! Quick! • Zacchaeus gladly and joyful responds to Jesus. • Jesus knows his name. • Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. • Zacchaeus was rich, but he was so empty. He needed something his money couldn’t buy.
• Zacchaeus WELCOMED Jesus into his home WITHOUT reservation and WITHOUT delay.

Luke 19:7 (NLT), But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

• WHO are these grumblers?

Matthew 9:9 (NLT), As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”

• Sinners is translated scum. Scum captures their attitude about Matthew AND Jesus. • In that culture, eating with someone meant approval and friendship. • Who are these grumblers? The Pharisees. They were grumbling in Jericho too. • Jesus could have stayed in a 100 houses in Jericho. • Jesus will invite himself into the home of the worst sinner in town. • He did then. He does now.
• This is a good lesson for us who grew up with so much religion around us. • It’s almost a sure bet, that when God is working, there is always someone grumbling.

Luke 19:8 (NLT) Meanwhile, (back at the house) 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!”

• Between vs. 7 and vs. 8 Jesus and Zacchaeus were hanging out. I wonder what they were talking about.

• What happened?

• I don’t think Jesus talked about money at all! • MONEY was not the issue. Zacchaeus’ heart was the issue. • Jesus diagnosed that old greedy heart, and gave him a new heart like His. • It’s called being born again. Zacchaeus was born again. • How did this happen? • Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus into his home, to be Lord of his life, and Jesus changed him. There was a transformation, a conversion, a metamorphosis, a radical change, there was repentance if his sin, there was forgiveness of his sin, and when Zacchaeus stood to his feet, he had a new life. • Why did he have a new life so quickly? Because he had a new LORD! • Money was no longer his MASTER. • He is a free man! • First, Zacchaeus gave HALF is wealth. • Second, Zacchaeus would be JUST. He would no longer steal. He would make restitution. In the OT law, the rate for restitution was 20% above what you stole. Zacchaeus will repay at 300% interest, or “four times the amount he stole.” • “IF I have cheated people, could be read, “whoever” I have cheated. The point is, he is ready to make things right with everyone he has wronged. • Zacchaeus (the man everyone grumbled about and shunned), has been transformed into a Generous and Just man. It’s a miracle of God.

Luke 19:9 (NLT), 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.”

• Zacchaeus is truly a changed man, because he is truly a saved man! • Zacchaeus is a true son of faith, saved by faith, like Abraham. • Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and there was no one more lost than Zacchaeus. • He is no longer hell bound, but heaven bound. • Please understand this… It was NOT the giving that saved Zacchaeus. • The giving proved Zacchaeus was saved, and proved Christ had indeed changed his heart. • When Christ came to his house, Christ brought salvation to Zacchaeus.

ILL. Huffington Post had an article a few years ago about Zacchaeus. It was written by an episcopal priest. It said, “When Jesus talks about salvation coming to Zacchaeus’ house, that’s not about getting into heaven… It’s not… that he’s been forgiven his sin as much as been freed from his addiction to wealth and restored to his community… Zacchaeus’ story is a lesson in how Jesus’ followers are to get along without him. ...don’t mistake this for a story of personal healing. Zacchaeus’ sin was not violence or betrayal, or any other personal wrong, it was economic injustice to his community."

• The Title of the article was, Zacchaeus: The Rich Man Gets Woke.

The article shows a gross misunderstanding of sin and salvation:

• Biblical Salvation is multidimensional: It means, “Rescue, security, safety, wholeness, soundness, liberty, and rest (Shalom).”

• Salvation means rescue from the judgement of God, it means security and eternal life for all who believe, it means wholeness in mind, body, and soul, and it means liberty, freedom, and rest from whatever enslaves us.

Did Zacchaeus get woke, or did Zacchaeus get saved?

• DOES anyone’s heart become Generous and Just, by a woke lesson on economic injustice? • Hearts can only be changed by faith in Christ. • When Zacchaeus bowed to Jesus as his Lord, a miracle of a new heart and new life began. • What did Zacchaeus do to deserve salvation? Nothing! • He just opened the door and welcomed Jesus in.


Romans 10:9 (NLT), If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved… 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


Perhaps, you are in a tree, trying to get a better look at Jesus.

• What should you do?

• You should welcome Jesus into your house, by faith make Him your Savior and Lord.

• If you arestruggling for peace and rest, salvation can come to your heart today.

PRAY “Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”