Conversion of Zacchaeus:
(Read Luke 19:1-10)
In this story we see the beautiful example of the power of the gospel. This story is found only in Luke’s Gospel. Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. He desired to see Jesus. But he was too short to see over the crowds. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road. Jesus called him by name and said “Come down, for I must stay at your house today”. Jesus was a guest in his house. His response to Jesus was remarkable. As a result Zacchaeus turned from his crooked ways to follow Jesus. He became a transformed person (Luke 19:8). Jesus said to him “Today salvation has come to your house”. He was a lost man now he is saved. Luke 19:10 is the key verse of this gospel. “For the son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”. “The Son of Man” was Christ’s favorite title. It speaks of Jesus’ identification with mankind. Zacchaeus is a good example of a man whose riches did not prevent him from coming to Christ. What he needed was someone to explain the way of salvation to him. The Bible does not provide specific details about how to use our wealth. Some are called to give up everything to follow Jesus because wealth was a hindrance (Luke 18:22). Like Barnabas, some give generously because they love God (Acts 4:36-37). Christians are called to give cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7). Grace frees us to give willingly and trust God to meet our needs (Matt 6:25-34).
Invest our Resources for the kingdom of God:
(Read Luke 19:11-48)
As Jesus approached Jerusalem he told a parable to show that the Kingdom of God was not appearing immediately (Luke 19:11). Since Jews rejected Christ, the Kingdom would be delayed. It would arrive in its glory sometime in the future. Meanwhile it is crucial for believers to be faithful with their gifts and resources. In this parable a nobleman, he went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. He called his servant, gave them ten Minas and said “Occupy till I come”. This speaks of duel assignments to work and to wait faithfully. In this parable we see three levels of investment. First servant earned ten times more of the original amount. Nobleman said to him “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in very little, you shall have authority over ten cities”. Second servant earned five times of the amount. Likewise he said to him, “You also be over five cities”. The third servant wanted to play safe and buried his money. He did so because he had false perception of his master. The nobleman said “Take the money from this servant and give it to the one who earned the most”. Fear comes from Satan. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). When Christians are motivated by God’s love, they never will become lazy in the ministry. Jesus is coming again to save those who are eagerly waiting for him but false professors will be judged (Heb 9:28). From verses 20-40 we read about the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. It was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies (Zechariah 9:9; Psalm 118:25-26). Jesus is worthy of praise and worship. Christ wept over Jerusalem. He predicted the city’s coming judgment. What was true of Jerusalem is true of each individual who rejects Christ. Jesus cleansed the Temple second time (John 2:13-22). He taught openly in the temple. The religious leaders planned to kill Jesus. But they could not because people wanted to hear Jesus. To learn more read Matthew 21:1-9.