Calling to Salvation
Adult 1 Sunday School Class Luke 19:1-10 March 24, 2019
Theme: Some people can be considered unacceptable, others because of their actions or because of stereotypes held by others. How does one find acceptance? Jesus recognized Zacchaeus’ interest and honored him despite the grumbling of the crowd, Zacchaeus responded with overwhelming repentance.
Understanding and Interpreting the Scriptures (answers are in bold print while verses are in regular print)
Please explain the meaning or significance of the following verses:
* Luke 19:1 and 2, “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.” It opens with Jesus on his way to Jerusalem as he passes thru Jericho, a rather prosperous town and trading center in the Jordan Valley. There was a man named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax administer for the area and because of his position was rather wealthy. Not only does he supervise those who collect taxes, but also fees for tolls and licenses, in which the revenue goes back to Rome, after the tax collectors get their cut. As a result, tax collectors or publicans, were hated by the public and thus outcasts and alone in society.
* v.3 and 4, “And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.” Zacchaeus had a strong desire to see Jesus and was not going to let anything stop him. Because he was short and knowing that, it would be difficult to see Him through the crowd that would follow Him. He moved ahead knowing the area, and climbed into a sycamore tree waiting for Jesus to pass. Zacchaeus, had much more than most people, but why would a man of his stature go to such lengths to see Jesus. This points out that in one’s life, material things can not bring the lasting joy that a spiritual relationship can bring. This is what Zacchaeus was seeking.
* v.5 and 6, “ 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. 6. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.” These verses illustrate several things; 1) That Jesus was aware of Zacchaeus and asked him to come down from the tree and invited Himself to his house, 2) The followers were astonished that Jesus would visit the house of this sinner, since publicans were considered as such. Christ knew his need and set out to address it. 3) Jesus seeks those who seek Him. This is demonstrated by Zaachaeus humiliating himself in front of his home town people just to get a chance to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was looking for spiritual comforting and Jesus was there to provide it.
* v.7 “And when they saw it, they all murmurred, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.” The crowd took a very dim view of Christ interaction with Zacchaeus, and going to his home was far beyond the pale; this was an action no rabbi would entertain. They found Jesus suspect if His act was considered unclean and spiritually void of content. The murmuring of the crowd reminds us of the actions of the Hebrews in the wilderness when they didn’t yet understand the nature of God.
* v.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.” As a result of Zacchaeus meeting with Jesus, he repented of his sins and as an act of restitution beyond what was expected from the Levitical Law (Leviticus 6:5), he was prepared to return much more than the O.T. Law required. He became a new man as described in 2 Corinthians 5:17.
* v.9, “And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.” Salvation has come to this house” means that as Zacchaeus receives salvation by his faith and repentance, and his conversion will affect everyone in the house as well. Racially Zacchaeus is a Jew by birth, but through his faith in Jesus he is a new man, and spiritual a son of Abraham also.
* v.10, “ For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This is the main theme of Luke’s Gospel, and through the story of Zacchaeus it is defined, that Christ came to seek and to save those who were lost.