I always did like that little song! And it’s a scripture song because that’s exactly what happened. Now I’, not sure what image you get in your mind, but when I think of Zacchaeus, I picture Danny DeVito, the TV star. Short, fat and ornery. Any, here’s the scripture story of gthe event.
Luke 19: 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 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 sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5 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. 7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 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. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. 11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
Zacchaeus was a tax collector, and thus he was disliked immensely by the Jews. Add to that the fact that he was wealthy from being a tax collector, and he was on an island by himself in the Jewish village of Jericho. He probably had few friends, and many enemies. But he was still a person, and when he heard about Jesus coming, he wanted to see this man as well. he had heard, just like everyone else, about the miracles. he needed to get a glimpse of this miracle worker. Because he was so short, and there was such a large crowd, he decided to climb a tree to catch a look. Notice the contrast between Zacchaeus and Bartemaeus! The former climbed a tree to just get to see him, while the latter just sat in his place and cried mercy. Jesus doesn’t care how we approach Him, but He does appreciate it when we do it with zeal, as both of these men did!
When Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the tree, He told Zacchaeus to come down and make supper ready – he was going to dine with him that night. I can almost hear Zacchaeus running to his house and telling his wife the amazing news – Jesus was coming to their house for dinner! Zacchaeus was so overwhelmed with gratitude, he pledged to give half his goods money to the poor and to restore anything he took under false pretenses fourfold. Just the very presence of Jesus had an effect on him. While the people murmured about Jesus eating with a sinner, Jesus blesses his house and says Zacchaeus is also a son of Abraham. In other words, he is no different than anyone else. Jesus came to seek and save the lost!
Do you have prejudices? I do, and I will admit it. There are some people groups that I just don’t like to be around, and that is something I am working hard at repairing in my life. How can I minister to people if I don’t like being around them? I am called to be a minster of reconciliation to all I come in contact with, and yet I shy away from certain people because of their ethnic background or the color of their skin. I am learning, and hope to learn more and grow out of this, because their is no place for it in God’s Kingdom. The people in Zacchaeus’s day had those feelings about him because he was a tax collector, but Jesus didn’t care who he was or what he did. I shouldn’t either. Lord, help me!
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
I am going to keep my comments short on this, but wanted to include the text of the Parable of the pounds so you could read it for yourself. There are two main points want to discuss. First, the statement “Unto every one who hath shall be given, and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.”. Jesus took the one pound from the servant who did not do anything to make it prosper. I think this represents wisdom! If we have wisdom from God, then God will add to that wisdom on a regular basis. he will continue to give us wisdom into His word, and into situations ij our lives, and into His truth. But if we have not sought wisdom from God, and we act foolishly with the wisdom we do have, God will slowly remove the wisdom from us, leaving us with only the wisdom of the world which is foolishness. God’s intention is for us to grow in wisdom and knowledge, but if we are not going to put it to use to further His kingdom and reach souls, then it is wasted on us. What are you doing with the wisdom God has given you?
The second point is the last line. Those people who would not allow the nobleman to rule over them were put to death right in front of the nobelman’s eyes. There are many so-called Christians who say they got saved, but live a life in the world. They do not allow Jesus to rule over them. The want a Savior, but not a Lord. Jesus demands that He be both, and in the end, He will have His way. The Bible says that “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil 2:10-11). It will happen later, but then it is too late. Acknowledge Him today as Lord, and give your life wholly to Him – that is what He demands. It’s time to stop being a wishy-washy Christian, sitting on the fence. It’s time to be bold for Christ, and reach out to a lost and dying world. They need the gospel message more now than ever. Will you take it to them?