April 23, 2018
Scott Harrison, our interim pastor(in 2018), has a special way of engaging his audience, before he lowers the boom.
“I have always felt a certain fondness for Zacchaeus,” he says, to the knowing chuckles of the audience.
He tells us about the time, during a presidential election campaign, that George W. Bush came to a high school football game in Missouri, “because, nobody knows who a Missourian is gonna vote for.”
Scott was in the back of the crowd.
He showed us his “hop” to try to get a glimpse of the president in person.
“I would hop to see the president.
I probably wouldn’t hop to see you.”
(Although, we did just see him hop.)
“Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. He climbed a tree!
I used to climb trees.
I don’t climb trees anymore.
I see none of you do either…I don’t see anyone here on crutches.”
But, the story goes, he climbed a sycamore fig tree just to get a glimpse of this popular figure who was “just passing through” Jericho to get to his next stop.
Zacchaeus didn’t have many friends.
He was a tax collector.
And a cheat.
That day, Zacchaeus changed.
But it wasn’t because he saw Jesus.
It was because Jesus saw him.
Jesus didn’t judge him.
“Zacchaeus, come down out of that tree. I’m going to your house today.”
That’s right. Jesus invited himself to his house.
He didn’t tell him to go clean up.
He didn’t tell him to straighten out his life.
He didn’t tell him to become a better person.
He just said, “Let me come into your house.”
What would you do?
Zacchaeus said, “Okay.”
“I am going to pay back everyone I cheated, four times as much as I took.”
He figured that out himself.
You want to know why?
Because…he loved the man who saw him…who loved him even where he was….
“Today, salvation has come to this house…” Jesus said.
The thing is, salvation didn’t come because of what he did.
He did what he did, because salvation had come.
Jesus one time said that if we loved him, we would obey him.
I always took that as meaning we have to prove our love for Jesus by doing good things, always obeying.
But, I have found that when you love Jesus, you want to make him happy.
To make Him smile.
To make Him laugh.
To please Him.
Because, when He is pleased…
You feel His pleasure.
If you are born again…
He lives in you.
And He does what He expects you to do…
“If you love me, you will keep my commands.”
John 14:15 NIV