Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“Jesus and Zacchaeus”
May 28, 2017
Luke is one of the four Gospels.
Each of the Four Gospels focus on certain aspects of Christ … Luke - “the Son of man” …
Mark – the suffering servant … John – the “Son of God” and Matthew – Jesus, the King.
Written by Luke, 65–75 AD, to a Grecian believer named Theophilus.
The Gospel of Luke was not written as a personal account but an evidentiary record; facts gathered from those who were eyewitnesses then set forth in the document known as the Gospel of Luke (See Luke 1:1-4). Luke contains more parables than the other Gospels.
Luke was not one of the disciples, and is widely considered to have been a Gentile.
He was a companion of the Apostle Paul during his missionary journeys.
Luke also wrote the Book of Acts.
Luke was called “the beloved physician,” by Paul in Colossians 4:14.
Luke records the teachings and events of Jesus Christ from birth to His ascension
Zacchaeus is exemplary of all humanity: sinners separated from God, spiritually hopeless, in need of a Savior.
Zacchaeus exemplifies biblical redemption: faith followed by fruit (See 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Jesus is not waiting for the qualified to come to Him. He came to seek and to save those who are lost; to heal those who are sick.
WE must be careful to avoid seeking only those who fit are concept of who we believe will be a good Christian/Church member. We are not looking for the best but “whosoever will.”
Like a farmer, our responsibility is to sow seed in the fields of the world and leave the results to God.
CONFESSION – Sometimes I am guilty of seeing some as less desirable or beyond salvation, neither which are true with God (God’s grace).
Zacchaeus overcomes obstacles in order to see Jesus (Luke 19:1-4).
It seems that Jesus did not intend to stop in Jericho, but just pass through; however, the Lord made time for Zacchaeus.
We must be careful not to, in our haste, miss the opportunities God sets before us. We should never get so busy that we are too busy to help someone in need.
Zacchaeus means “pure and righteous” … the epitome of hypocrisy. Zacchaeus exemplifies those who say one thing but do something else … profess but do not possess ….
Zacchaeus was a “chief tax collector” … He was the primary assessor and collector of taxes in the region of Jericho for the Roman government. He was a Jew who worked for the Romans in a position which often created financial burdens on his people. He, not only exacted the assign tax revenue, but charged additional fees to fill his own pockets. Luke hints to the problem describing him as “rich.” He was despised by the Jews.
What prompted Zacchaeus to seek Jesus? (1) It may have been curiosity. (2) Zacchaeus may have realized that something was missing from his life (3) Conviction of sin (4) He may have heard the story of Matthew’s (Levi) conversion … Matthew was also a tax collector, who now was a follower of Christ.
We are not told why Zacchaeus sought the Lord … could have all of the above. Whatever the reason, he was not going to allow anything or anyone to prevent him from an encounter with the Lord.
QUESTION – What is preventing you from coming to the Lord?
Climbing the tree seems to have been an undignified act; an act of humility which is necessary for coming to Christ.
Jesus ignores opposition in order to stay with Zacchaeus (Luke 19:5-7).
DISCUSSION – How did Jesus know where Zacchaeus was and who he was?
Jesus demonstrates his unconditional love by his willingness to fellowship with such a sinner as Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus’ response was immediate … when God speaks the time to respond is “now”
The crowd was offended by the Lord’s willingness to fellowship with a tax gatherer; a traitor and thief. They wondered how Jesus, if He was God, could be in any kind of a loving relationship with such a sinner.
Discuss “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32) as it relates to Zacchaeus and the attitude of the crowd.
DISCUSSION – Are you guilty of labeling some people as unwanted or unreachable?
Jesus is the Savior who celebrates a sinner’s repentance (Luke 4:8-10).
Zacchaeus, from an Old Testament perspective, realized his violation of the Law and knew the biblical requirements of repentance was restitution. For Zacchaeus to be right he had to do right.
Repentance is a heart change manifested by what one does or does not do. Repentance absent change is not real repentance.
Zacchaeus’ willingness to make restitution for his sin was the evidence of a heart change; a right relationship with God will always include a right response to God.
Jesus was not endorsing a work’s salvation but was affirming the redemption of Zacchaeus evidence by works.
See: Ephesians 2:8-10
The mission and ministry of Christ was to those who recognized their spiritual sickness and the remedy of redemption. Redemption may only occur as one realizes his need for salvation and a Savior.
Salvation may only occur as one realizes their sinful state and their hopeless situation and embraces what God has done for them through Jesus Christ.
Theological Theme: Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.
Christological/Christ Connection: Redemption through Christ is available to whosoever will without reservation …
Missional Application: Like Zacchaeus, believers are called to live out their faith by sharing God’s unconditional love through Jesus Christ.