This week I have the awesome opportunity to teach on the story of Zacchaeus… you know, “he was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he…” I’m confident that I will be unable to avoid singing the song at some point in the message. As I studied the passage this time I have just been struck by the model that Jesus leaves us for relational ministry. There are a few things that stand out to me.
(1) Jesus SEES Zacchaeus. in the midst of a crowd of people, Jesus sees him. There are people crowding in around Jesus, I mean this is a parade like atmosphere and Jesus sees this one person sitting in a tree. (2) Not only does Jesus see him, but he also pursues him. It would have been really easy for Jesus to just tell Zacc to repent of his sins, you know, get out a bullhorn and share the gospel with him, but that’s not what he does. He invites himself over for dinner instead. Relational. Intimate. (3) Finally, Jesus challenges him in a very personal way. See Zacc understood 1/2 of the gospel. he understood that he was a sinful man… he just didn’t understand that there was redemption that awaited him. In a very personal way Jesus introduces Zacc to redemption.
My hope is that God might use this story to stir up our group (www.thewellefcc.org). That he might put it on the hearts of our people to look in their sphere of influence for people who want to see Jesus, but who might be too ashamed of their past, fearful of judgment, or just unsure of Jesus. Not only to look, but to pursue in the same way that Jesus pursued Zacc… and in the same way that he pursues us all.