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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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To Seek And To Save

Who He Was

Luke 19.1-10

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[Short Student Preaches On Zacchaeus] [It has been alleged that Mr. Spurgeon, the "prince of preachers," once put his homiletics class to the supreme test. He would assign each student a text, ask him to go to the pulpit and deliver an extemporaneous short sermon properly outlined according to the theme of the text.]

[Finally, it was the turn of the shortest member of the homiletics class to receive the text for his sermonette. Mr. Spurgeon gave him the account of Zacchaeus' conversion.]

[With trembling legs and faltering hands the diminutive student walked to the pulpit, opened his Bible to the nineteenth chapter of Luke, and read with stammering lips the assigned text. Fastening his eyes on his audience, he began:]

["My brief sermon has three points. First, Zacchaeus was a little man and so am I. Secondly, Zacchaeus was up a tree and so am I. In the third place, Zacchaeus made haste to come down and so will I" and on that closing note the timorous student went back to his seat. (Luke 19:2-6) —James T. Dyet —Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations]

[Many of us, when brought to the pointofo a rash test; have responded in like nervous haste.  This student, while answering correctly, and humorously; also answered vainly.  His short extemporaneous sermonett was so much on the surface of the text that it lost all redeeming value.  It may have appeared to contain situational value, but all of the passages spiritual value was lost in its moment. ] 

[That’s how it often is when we are put to an immediate response.  We fail to take the time to diligently enquire into the question of the circumstance before us and we miss a hallmark moment that might have transformed our lives forever.  If we had just taken an extra moment, if we had just given it another brief thought, if we had just allowed our lives to be moved and touched by the very presence of Almighty God.  But we were just to busy to notice that Jesus was near.] 

[Notice this dwarf of a man, named Zaccheus.  He not only noticed the Lord Jesus Christ, but he took to time to pursue and discover the one who brought real and lasting meaning into his life.  To the point that our Lord Jesus Christ said:] 

[Luke 19:9-10 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. ]

[Lets discover what made all the difference for Zaccheus and his life.] 


A.     Sought the Savior – [When Jesus came to town Zaccheus went to the tree.  Zaccheus could have just gone about his business and treated the presence of our Lord just like the presence of any other man, but he did not.  Zaccheus could have treated our Lord just like any other of the multitudes that were in the city that day, but he did not.  Many may claim that Jesus was just another man, but his presence, miracles, and discovery declare that there was something incredibly unique about our Lord.  So much so that Zaccheus would scale obstacles, and scurry around crowds just to get a good look at the Lord Jesus Christ.]  When we consider Zaccheus we discover that: 

1.      He Desired to see the Lord Jesus Christ (vs 3) [– “And he sought to see Jesus who he was; . . .” – we must understand that there was something that gripped Zaccheus about our Lord.  He must have heard the stories that were circulating about this man from Galilee.  Perhaps it was the stories about the many miracles Jesus had performed (John 21.24-25), or the accounts of Jesus authoritative and unique teaching style (Matt 7.28-29).  Whatever Zaccheus had heard about Jesus it had sparked an element of curiosity within him, and he determined that he just had to see Jesus.] 

a.       [Desire is the spark that leads to discovery and Zaccheus had a definite spark of desire when it came to our Lord.  The Bible tells us that Zaacheus sought to see Jesus.  Notice that the passage does not stop there it then goes on to say, “who he was.”  It is clear to me that the literal translation of this passage is as rendered in our King James Bible and it applies an emphasis to the desire of Zaccheus.  It implies the passion behind Zacheuss’ desire.  He wanted to know, could this Jesus really be the Messiah, the Christ?  Could he really be the long awaited Immanuel, God with us?] 

b.      [There were many lethargic intellects in the streets of Jericho that day, but Zaccheus was everything but lethargic.  Just as there are many apathetic souls in our world today.  They have a cursory knowledge of the Word of God, they are aware of this one called Jesus, but there is no stirring desire to know the truth of this one called Jesus.  These multitudes will miss our Lord when He passes by, and will as a result miss the whole meaning and purpose of life altogether.] 

2.      He was Detained from the Lord Jesus Christ (vs 3) [– “. . . and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.”- Consider the depth of Zaccheus’ desire to see and know about our Lord.  The Bible notes that Zaccheus was a dwarf of a man.  He was short and for the press of the people could not get near our Lord, none-the-less see Him.  The physical stature of Zaccheus reminds us of the many obstacles that are a part of our lives.  There are times when:] 

a.       [Our Physical Bodies will be an obstacle for us.  His physical height was keeping Zaccheus from Jesus. For others it might be their great height, beauty, or physical prowess that will keep them just as far from our Lord.] 

b.      [Our Neighbors will be an obstacle for us.  The people around Zaccheus were keeping him from Jesus.  Just as those around you may be keeping you from our Lord.  Perhaps your family is holding you back, or your friends.  Who ever they may be, Jesus is worth everything to you.] 

c.       [Our Environment may be your obstacle.  Perhaps the lay of the street and its surrounding building are keeping you from our Lord.] 

[Obstacles are a part of our lives. Christians and non-christians alike face the obstacles of life.  Just be sure that the obstacles in your life are not keeping you from knowing and experiencing the most important things of your life.  The Lord Jesus Christ is certainly the most important relationship you will ever have in your life.] 

3.      He was Determined to know the Lord Jesus Christ (vs 4; Psalm 14.1; 53.1; Matt 7.7-8; John 8.32) [– “And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.” – Notice that Zaccheus was an overcomer.  He was not one to allow life’s obstacles to keep him from his accomplishments.  He also was not going to allow his pride to defeat him either.] 

a.       [A climb into eternity – How determined was Zaccheus?  How deep was his desire?  It was deep enough that Zaccheus was willing to climb a tree in order to get a glimpse of our Lord.] 

b.      [There are many who are ignorant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The question is, Are you one of the foolish ignorant or one of the wise ignorant people.  What’s the difference?] 

(1)   [The foolish ignorant – when he hears something that either does not make sense or that he’s just not sure about, if the ability to know presents itself he says, “no, I just don’t want to know.”  Of these people the Bible says,] 

[Psalms 14:1 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.]

[Psalms 53:1 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable
iniquity: there is none that doeth good.]

(2)   [The wise ignorant – This person, when he hears something that either does not make sense or that he’s just not sure about, if the ability to know presents itself he says, “Show me the truth so I can know.”  Of these people the Bible says:] 

[Matthew 7:7-8 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. ]

[John 8:32 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ]

c.       [Zaccheus was certainly wise.  He was not only wise but he was determined to know the truth.]   

B.     Surrendered to the Savior [– when you find and establish a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, there will be a transformation in your life.  Some refer to this as a conversion, others call it a change.  This is the result of the indwelling presence of our Lord and Savior within you.  ] 

1.      He was Recognized by our Lord Jesus Christ (vs 5; John 6.37; Rom 10.13) [– “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.” - Jesus responded to Zaccheus because of his desire and determination.  Our Lord knows when you are seeking Him with a sincere heart, and when you do you will find Him and He will respond to you.  However, come to Him with any form of foolishness and He will walk right past you, just as He did many in the streets that day.] 

[John 6:37 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. ]

[Romans 10:13 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. ]

2.      He Responded to the Lord Jesus (vs 6; 1 Pet 2.3; Rom 12.1-2; Luke 19.10; 1 John 3.4-5) [– “And he made haste, and came down . . .” – Those who have accepted our Lord Jesus Christ will have little trouble trusting and obeying anything our Lord might ask them to do.  When once you have tasted that our Lord is gracious and good (1 Pet 2.3) you will have little hesitation in trusting that our Lord’s will in life and death is always good, acceptable, and perfect (Rom 12.1-2)] 

a.       [The Sinners Savior – C.H. Spurgeon once preached a message on this same text which he entitled the Sinners Savior.  Here is short Zaccheus, a publican, hated and despised of the towns folks.  Yet, because of his sincere desire and determination, our Lord Jesus Christ  called out his name, and dinned in his home, in spite of the jeering crowd outside.] 

b.      [Perhaps you are one of those who thinks that your sin is just to great to warrant our Lord’s presence and recognition.  But the Bible reminds us that our Lord came:] 

[Luke 19:10 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. ]

[1 John 3:4-5 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. ]

3.      He Received the Lord Jesus (vs 6, 9) [– “. . .  and received him joyfully.” – Not only deos Zaccheus receive our Lord into his home, but we are assured that he received Him into his heart and life.  How do we know this?  Because Jesus said,]  

[Luke 19:9 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.]

[The marks of Zaccheus’ salvation, and conversion are immediately evident.]

C.     Sacrificed for the Savior 

1.      Zaccheus Rejoiced (vs 6; John 1.12; 1 Pet 5.12; Eph 1.13-14) [–  “. . . and received him joyfully. – when a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ there is an unmistakable joy that will mark their life in Christ.  This is:] 

a.       [The Joy of their New Relationship (John 1.12)] 

[John 1:12 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:]

b.      [The Joy of their New Position (1 Pet 5.12)] 

[1 Peter 5:12 12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.]

c.       [ The Joy of their New Illumination (Eph 1.13-14)] 

[Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. ]

2.      Zaccheus was Ridiculed (vs 7; John 15.18-20) [– “And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.” – Don’t be surprised if the world hates you and ridicules you for your new relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.  Our world loves to hate, and loves to throw stones.  Jesus said:] 

[John 15:18-20 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. ]

[The hard part for born again Christians is that we do not allow ourselves to be drawn into the worlds hatred and our natural human tendency.  Human Religion will evidence the marks of hatred, a real relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be marked by truth permeated with love and dispensed with grace.]

3.      Zaccheus was Repentant (vs 8) [– “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” – Zaccheus’ salvation was also marked with repentance and reconciliation.  Reconciliation will be easy for a true child of eternity, for a real child of God will quickly realize that anything of this life and world is but a vapor in comparison to the eternal riches of eternity to come.  Lost religious men still cling to this world’s goods with a white knuckled grip.  Why? Because eternity is not real to them, the only thing they can really see is what the grasp in this life.] 

[Perhaps you are like Zaccheus today.  You have heard of the Lord Jesus Christ, but you have yet to grapple with who He really is.  ] 

  • [Will you climb the spiritual sycamore tree of your life to see this Jesus and discover Who He Really Is.? ]
  • [Or will you continue like the many foolish ignorant people who were in Jericho that day, when Jesus walked by, and they missed the Lord of all hope, the Savior of their soul?]



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