Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20100317.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LXVI: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By The Response Of Outcasts To Him
B. Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In The Rich Outcast Man's Response To Him
Lesson: As seen in the way Zacchaeus, the rich chief tax collector, responded so well to Jesus versus the response of the rich man back in Luke 18, we know Jesus had made His credentials clear not only to the poor, but also to the rich, so all the rich along with all the poor were accountable to trust in Him.
- If Jesus is God's true Savior of the world, we should expect that loving God to love even the wealthiest in society, those often feared or despised for their riches, that He would cause them to be reachable by Jesus.
- However, in view of the failure of the rich ruler to follow Jesus in Luke 18:18-25, one might doubt if Jesus' presentation of His messianic credentials was too insensitive or unattractive to disciple the wealthy.
- Jesus' Luke 19:1-10 interaction with Zacchaeus dispels that concern, and we view it for our application:
- Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In The Rich Outcast Man's Response To Him, Luke 19:1-10.
- Jesus' interaction with Zacchaeus, a very wealthy tax collector, produced dramatically just the opposite response of the rich ruler's response to Jesus in Luke 18:18-25, Bible Know. Com., N. T. , p. 251.
- As such, we view Zacchaeus' actions in light of the rich ruler's actions to note that Christ had presented His messianic credentials so well that all of the rich, like all of the poor, were accountable to trust in Him:
- Just before Jesus spoke with the rich man in Luke 18:18-19, He told His disciples that one needed to receive the kingdom of God like a little child, Luke 18:16-17. This was precisely what Zacchaeus did in Luke 19:1-4 opposite the rich man of Luke 18:18 who tried to gain eternal life in his own merit:
- Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, was rich, which wealth had been gained by extortion in making other Jews pay more than their legal share, Luke 19:1-2; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Luke 19:2 .
- However, regardless of his position and wealth, he was so anxious to see Jesus, that, to compensate for his small stature, Zacchaeus had run on ahead of the crowd that thronged about Jesus to climb up into a sycamore-fig tree like a child to see Christ as He passed that way, Luke 19:3-4, Ibid., p. 252.
- When Jesus arrived, he looked up, saw and spoke to Zacchaeus, telling him to hurry down since He would stay at his home, so Zacchaeus obeyed, receiving Jesus with "rejoicing". This word is used nine times in Luke's Gospel to denote joy that follows faith and salvation, Luke 19:5-6; Ibid. This response contrasts sharply with the rich man's sad unbelief back in Luke 18:22-23; Ibid.
- The crowd that despised fellow Jewish tax collectors as traitorous colleagues of the Roman authorities complained about Jesus' decision to be a guest of the unholy, despicable Zacchaeus, Luke 19:7. At this reaction of the crowd, Zacchaeus responded quite opposite the response of the rich ruler of Luke 18:
- Zacchaeus offered to give half of his wealth to the poor, and to restore fourfold what he had taken by coercion as a thief to those he had wronged, Luke 19:8.
- This response showed Zacchaeus was doing what he understood was right from the Hebrew Scriptures: Exodus 22:1 directed that thieves like himself restore fourfold what they had stolen and in turn had invested for their own use or profit.
- Note how opposite this response was to the rich man of Luke 18:22-23: that rich man had refused to give his goods to the poor, but Zacchaeus volunteered not only to give half his goods to the poor, but to pay fourfold of the rest of that wealth to those he had wronged! (Ibid.)
- Though Jesus had taught in Luke 18:24-27 how hard it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, here in Luke 19:9-10, Jesus responded to Zacchaeus' expression of faith in how he would part with his wealth, noting He had come to seek and to save such lost folk. In effect, God had done the "impossible" mentioned in Luke 18:25-27 in reaching this sinful, greedy, cheating tax collector with salvation, for he with all non-traitorious Jews was also a son of Abraham, Luke 19:9-10!
Application: (1) May we trust in Christ as Savior from sin for salvation and eternal life, John 3:16. (2) May we use our wealth with eternity's values in view as Zacchaeus came to do, 1 Tim. 6:6-10, 17-19.