Last week I posted notes for you from the series that I am doing on holiness for a local youth group. These notes are part two of that series.
The title of that sermon is: Whatever It Takes.
The text for that sermon comes from Luke 19:1-10
Jericho – same city that Joshua leads the people of Israel to march against in Joshua 6. It is not the same place as it was in the time of Joshua. King Herod acquired the city from Caesar Augustus. Herod tuned the city into what he wanted it to be. Jericho became Herod’s winter retreat.
Jericho is where Zacchaeus lived. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector. He had people that worked under him. He was rich. He most likely made his money by over-taxing people what they really owed. If you were a tax collector, you were considered to be dirt, worthless, the scum of the earth. People would have rather had their teeth pulled out than to be in the vicinity of a tax collector. Tax collectors were hated people. This was the case with Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was coming to his town. Zacchaeus had heard stories of Jesus. Stories about Jesus spread quickly. Jesus taught Scripture as did the temple leaders but Jesus taught with authenticity and authority. Jesus preached in such a way that people were compelled to listen to him. People walked away in awe of Jesus. When was the last time that you were in awe of Jesus?
Word quickly spread about Jesus and his teachings. This is no doubt the way Zacchaeus heard about Jesus. Zacchaeus had a desire to see Jesus. He had heard about Jesus but just hearing about Jesus was not enough. He wanted more. More of Jesus. So he takes it upon himself to do whatever it takes to see more of Jesus. He runs ahead of the crowd and climbs a tree.