By: Teacher Evelyn J. Hagger
Praise the Lord! We are headed toward the finish line for this series. I have personally been tremendously blessed walking through the word with you, and seeing how Jesus willingly came on the scene in each case. Each individual was so much better after Jesus Changed Their Season.
Today, our lesson comes from a familiar passage of scripture in Luke 19:1-9. Our character is someone who was unpopular and hated back then and in some circles even today, the feeling is the same. Let me give you the following background information: Zacchaeus was a man short in stature, became rich off the backs of fellow Jews, and was considered a traitor to the Jews because he worked for the Roman government as a tax collector. Now watch this: But Jesus loved Zacchaeus.
Jesus made himself a guest in the tax collector’s house against the wishes of the crowd. The word says, “The crowds were displeased. He has gone to the house of a notorious sinner, they grumbled.” Good people, Zacchaeus is the very type of individual for whom Jesus gave his life! Even though Zacchaeus was a thief, gouged the people and was looked upon as a traitor, Jesus loved him, had compassion for him and refused to judge him. In response to Jesus’ love, Zacchaeus got converted and he was saved!
Friends, in every society there are those who come across as above the law or untouchable because of their immoral behavior, position in the community, their family pedigree, their wealth, and the list goes on. However, this is not our cue to avoid them. On the contrary, these traits alone should serve as an open door for us to minister the Gospel, the Good News to them. Like Jesus during his time, we should not buckle under social pressures and avoid taking the Gospel to them. They are the ones who need the word.
What I admire about Zacchaeus is this: he knew he needed to change. And according to the word in verse 8, his declaration to repay the poor with interest was a sure sign that upon meeting Jesus, his season had started to change. What we see here in scripture is an inward change of heart represented by an outward act of restitution.
We can learn at least two lessons from Zacchaeus. First, he knew he needed a life change, and I personally believe that’s why he climbed the sycamore tree to see the man who would change his season forever. Secondly, he shows us that it is never enough to follow Jesus with our heart or just with our head. We must show a change by our faith actions and changed behavior. Jesus wants to change your season for eternity. Question: What changes do you need to make for this to happen? In verse 10, Jesus says, “I came to seek and to save such souls as Zacchaeus.” Know this day that Jesus came to save you.
(If you are being blessed by these messages, feel free to call or write: Teacher Evelyn J. Hagger – P. O. Box 22736 – Beaumont, Texas 77720-2736 – (409) 866-2210; or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
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