Warning: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, class 'collapsArch' does not have a method 'enqueue_scripts' in /home/customer/www/shepherdofhope.org/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 307
Impossible? - Shepherd of Hope

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name’ – John 1:12

 

In Luke 18, a young rich ruler walked away from Jesus’ offer of salvation because he was not willing to give up his one last idol, his wealth. The rich of Jesus’ day were thought to be favored by God because blessing and wealth were thought to be from God. But we know, from the testimony of scripture, that “the love of money,” can be the source of all kinds of evils. Wealth and prosperity can often be elevated as the center of life, an idol that keeps us from God. And that is what we see in Luke 18.

But when the people saw the rich ruler walk away, and Jesus comment that its easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to be saved, it astounded his listeners. They thought the rich and prosperous were closest to God. They bore signs of God’s hand of blessing on them. If they could not be saved, who could? That is when Jesus said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

It is possible for even the worst sinner to be saved by God. There is always hope with God. And while we see the difficulty of a young rich ruler being saved in Luke 18, we see another wealthy man saved in Luke 19. In Luke 19 we see God do the impossible.

Do you know someone who seems very far away from coming to Christ to be saved? Do you know someone, a family member, a son, or daughter, maybe a father or mother, maybe a spouse, who seems unsavable? Well, I want to encourage you that there is hope in the Lord for their salvation. What seems impossible for people to do, God can and does do.

In chapter one of John’s gospel it states:

  • John 1:12 (NKJV) – But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

I begin with quoting this verse because the account of Zacchaeus is an example of what it means to have “received” Jesus. We can become a child of God by receiving Jesus. To “receive” (Greek lambano) means receive, to take, accept, grasp, seize, obtain, take hold of. The form of this verb (Aorist/Active/Indicative) conveys the idea of an action that is completed such as received, taken, accepted, grasped, seized, obtained, taken hold of. The translation of the word as “received” expresses this idea. When it states, “But as many as received Him,” therefore, implies a completed action.

“As many as received” Jesus, do so when they, “believe in His name.” To “believe” (Greek pistĕuō) means to trust in, put confidence in, to be convinced of. The grammar of “believe” (Present Tense Active Participle) conveys the idea of an action of the person to keep on believing, continually believing. It speaks of a life commitment that will be constant. Do you believe in Jesus that way?

When we decisively receive Jesus by steadfastly believing in Him, we are given “the right” (Greek ecousia) or power, authority, or privilege to “become children of God.” People do not deserve to become children of God or earn the privilege to become children of God, but God grants us authority to become children of God when we “believe in His name.” To “believe in His name” means to believe in Jesus the Person and all that He represents which would include what we find in the gospels. This is what we will see in Zacchaeus.

19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

Today, when you visit Israel, you pass through the area of the city of Jericho to visit Ein Gedi (where David hid in caves from the pursuing King Saul), Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered), Masada (where Eleazer Ben Yair commanded a last group of rebels against Rome) and the Dead Sea (an area where Sodom and Gomorrah are believed to be located).  It is a dry arid region. Jericho is below sea level. In ancient times it was a lush fruitful area and resort area much like Las Vegas or Palm Springs is in our day. Josephus referred to Jericho as the “Fattest city in the land,” meaning it was wealthy and prosperous. It was an area ruled by Rome in what we would view as unethical. This is the setting and environment in which Zacchaeus lived. Jesus was not afraid to travel in such surroundings. Because of that, His message of salvation would come to someone who would not normally hear it. That is God’s grace reaching the lost. That is the beginning of how a rich man will be saved. That is the beginning of doing the impossible.

Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.

As we go through this account, keep the encounter of Jesus with the rich young ruler of the previous chapter in mind. While the rich young ruler was interested in Jesus, and even posed Jesus a question about eternal life, he did not demonstrate that level of interest we will see in Zacchaeus. The rich young ruler came and entered a calm mild conversation with Jesus. Zacchaeus will run to see Jesus and even climb a tree to catch a glimpse of Him. It is quite a contrast in desire. The rich man went away sorrowful. Zacchaeus will welcome Jesus into his home and soon leap for joy over the salvation offer Jesus provided Him. It is quite a contrast in outcomes too!

Zacchaeus pure? The name “Zacchaeus” means pure, innocent. Tax collectors were viewed by people as being anything but pure. They were polluted by Rome and unpatriotic traitors to their people. They were on the same level as thieves and murderers as far as the people were concerned. And Zacchaeus was a “chief tax collector,” not just a plain old tax collector. He was a tax collector of tax collectors. But we see a bit of that bubbling to the surface in this diminutive tax collector. He is wealthy, but that wealth is more rusting than refreshing to him. And when he hears of Jesus in his town, he just must answer the prodding of the Spirit for something inside him is telling him he will find true purification today.

On His way to Jerusalem Jesus passed through Jericho (19:1). Jericho was known for its palm trees. It was a rich and flourishing town. It was at this point we are introduced to Zacchaeus, a rich chief tax collector (19:2). Tax collectors were despised, they were known for using their position to extort money from people and to make use of Roman soldiers as their strong-arm support if necessary. The Romans set no specific tax percentage other than to order the tax collector to raise a certain amount of money from the area they were responsible for. But whatever the tax collector could raise above and beyond this set amount, they could pocket. Tax collectors were barred from synagogue worship. They were known for their corruption and dishonesty. They acquired their position by purchasing a franchise from Rome that covered a certain area. Zacchaeus as a chief tax collector commanded a region of tax collectors.

There were various taxes levied by the Roman government. There was a Poll tax that everyone paid just for breathing Roman air. Every male aged 14-65 or a female aged 12 to 65 you had to pay this tax. Then there was a 10 percent income tax. On top of that there were import taxes, road taxes, fishing taxes (per net and per fish), a ground tax (a fifth of all wine and grain went to Rome), a cart tax (for those who used carts you were charged per wheel). The tax collector collected taxes from these things and kept everything he could raise above what Rome required of him. Because his wealth came from collecting these taxes Zacchaeus was resented by those around him. He was wealthy and had position in society and yet when he heard of Jesus nearby he sought Him out (19:3).

And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.

Zacchaeus had some obstacles to overcome to see Jesus. He was short. Physically, he did not measure up. The average man of Jesus’ day is estimated to have been around 5 feet tall. So when we speak of “short,” by today’s standards, Zacchaeus was very short. But even though he did not measure up physically, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree so that he could see Jesus (19:3-4).

So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.

Zacchaeus ran ahead and scampered up a sycamore tree. Sycamore trees still exist in this area today. They do not need a lot of water to survive. They are strong trees with low laying branches that a short person could climb and get some elevation. They are strong enough to support the weight of a “short” person.

For a wealthy man of status to run and even climb a tree was an act of humiliation. Zacchaeus made seeking Jesus a priority by humbling himself to a position where he could see Him. When we come to the Lord we do so humbly, on His terms, not our own. Zacchaeus did not proudly push through the crowd for an audience with Jesus. He humbly and in a childlike way scampered up a tree to see Jesus. Jesus said to enter his kingdom you had to enter it as a child, humbly and open to learn (Luke 18:16-17).

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

As Jesus passed by, He looked up and saw Zacchaeus and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house” (19:5). This is the only time in scripture where Jesus invites Himself into someone’s home.

Interestingly Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ name. Zacchaeus was seeking Jesus, but Jesus knew of and was looking for the short tax collector too. Jesus knew Zacchaeus by name. Jesus knows us by name.

It is also interesting that Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house. What right did He have to do this? A King can invite Himself anywhere He wants. The host Zacchaeus then became the guest of King Jesus. Jesus takes control of the salvation process. He comes our way and is ready when we respond or show evidence of receiving the word He offers.

So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.

At Jesus’ invitation, Zacchaeus immediately scampered down the tree and, “received Him joyfully” (19:6). Zacchaeus accepted the invitation of Jesus. He did so joyfully. Something in the rich tax collector responded to the invitation of Jesus. He may have had all he needed materially, but he was missing something more important. He knew that too. Otherwise he would not have climbed that tree. When Jesus said He would stay at his house, Zacchaeus heart leaped for joy. He sensed his emptiness was about to be ended.

But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

The bystanders complained about this. They resented Jesus going to stay with a “sinner” (19:7). But public opinion did not prevent Zacchaeus from receiving Jesus. Even though these were the people he had to work with and live amongst, Zacchaeus did not let their opinion and peer pressure deter him. Nothing could keep him from opening his home and heart to the Savior.

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor;

When we look at Zacchaeus we see evidence of his genuine salvation.

First, he responded to the inner work of the Spirit to draw him to Jesus (19:3-4). Jesus said,

  • John 6:44 (NKJV) – No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Salvation is provided by God as a gift of His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). It is God’s grace that awakens an awareness of our need to be forgiven and saved from our sins. This is particularly the work of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:8-11). Zacchaeus wanting to see Jesus is the part of God’s work in salvation grace that we call prevenient grace, or the grace that goes before. This grace is offered to all people. It is up to us to receive it and, like Zacchaeus, respond to it.

Zacchaeus was “short,” physically, but we and all humanity “fall short” of God’s glorious standard for salvation (Romans 3:23). There is no way we can ever measure up to God’s requirements of salvation and forgiveness for our sins in our own strength. The only way we can get over that salvation hurdle, is by Jesus running the course for us. Our salvation is in Christ, it is all His work appropriated to our behalf when we trust Him as Savior (Romans 3-5; Galatians 1-4). 

Second, he accepted Jesus’ invitation (19:5). Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ home. And Zacchaeus accepted the invitation! His heart was open and responsive to Jesus. He was interested in Jesus’ message. We are not given the details of the conversation between Jesus and Zacchaeus, but Zacchaeus’ receptiveness is a sign and evidence of God’s work in his heart. 

Third, he made haste to welcome Jesus (19:6). The word “haste” (Greek speusas – Aorist/Active/Participle of the verb pseudo) means making haste, hurrying, striving, desiring earnestly. This was not a mild or lackadaisical response by Zacchaeus, it was an impassioned urgency and eagerness to receive Jesus. Like children on Christmas morning, or newlyweds on their wedding night, or a wife waiting at the doctor’s office to confirm that she will be a mother, or parents-to-be waiting to discover the gender of their baby, Zacchaeus was responding to the gift of life, the gift of God he could sense by the Spirit was going to be made available to him.

Fourth, he was joyful to receive Jesus (19:6). It says of Zacchaeus’ that he “received him joyfully.” Joy is an aspect of the fruit of the working of the holy Spirit in a person (cf. Galatians 5:22-24). “Joyfully” (Greek chairon – Present/Active/Participle of the verb chairo) means rejoicing, being glad, welcoming, greeting. This is the same word used by the father to explain the return of his prodigal son (Luke 15:32). It is the same word used by John the Baptist to describe how he rejoiced to welcome Jesus the bridegroom (John 3:29). This is the same word used to describe the apostles joy at being counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus (Acts 5:41). Paul used this word to express his gladness at the obedience of the church people in Rome (Romans 16:19). This is the word used by Paul to describe his rejoicing at the genuineness of repentance of the people at the church in Corinth (2 Cor. 7:9 and 16). It is the word used by Paul to describe to the Philippians his joy that the gospel was being preached in every way (Philippians 1:18). It is the word used by Paul to convey his feelings about suffering for Jesus (Colossians 1:24). This is the word being used to describe Zacchaeus’ response to Jesus. Was Zacchaeus saved at this point? We might not be able to say that, yet, but his joyfulness is more evidence and an indication that the Spirit was working in this tax collector. Joy 

Fifth, he stood (19:7-8a). We see he stood to be recognized as a respondent to Jesus’ message. Even though Jesus visit to his home was frowned upon by the onlookers, Zacchaeus was undeterred to have Jesus come into his home. He cared more about Jesus, than what others thought about him.

Jesus said elsewhere:

  • Matthew 10:32–33 (NKJV) – 32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

As Zacchaeus stood, it was as though he was accepting all that Jesus offered him, regardless of what others thought. His standing was a statement by him that he received what Jesus offered him. And this is further evidence of the work done by God in his heart at this point, because when you receive Jesus, nothing else matters. When you receive Jesus, you are more concerned with what he has to say than what other people say.

Sixth, he evidenced genuine change (19:8b). Like the rich young ruler in the previous chapter, Zacchaeus the tax collector was all about money. But unlike the rich young ruler, Zacchaeus was willing, even eager to give up his money. Jesus did not even have to ask him to give it up. Zacchaeus responded freely of his own will. This is evidence of something that had genuinely taken place in his heart. From this we learn that when salvation genuinely occurs in a person, there will be genuine change in that person. There will be fruit from a living tree.

Vertical and horizontal change. When your vertical relationship with God is genuinely repaired and redeemed, it naturally (or spiritually) leads to a desire to make things right in your horizontal relationships with other people. The first four of the Ten Commandments deal with our vertical relationship with God. The remaining six of the Ten Commandments deal with our horizontal relationships with people. The two greatest commandments are to love God supremely and love other sacrificially (Matthew 22:37-40). We cannot claim to love God, and then hate our neighbor (1 John 2:9-11; 3:13-15; 4:20). That Zacchaeus, of his own volition, initiated and offered to “restore fourfold” to anyone he had extorted, is evidence of what Jesus comes to say, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.” What is the significance of Jesus mentioning Abraham? We will see as we continue in this narrative.

Genuinely saved people are proven by genuine life change. If false prophets are known by their fruits according ot Jesus, the same can be said of people who are saved from their sins and born again. Someone who has experienced a genuine spiritual birth will evidence that in a change in their life. You cannot know Jesus as Savior and stay the same. Our salvation is a product of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:1-9). But one of the purposes of our salvation is to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Salvation is a life changing experience. And so, someone who has come to Jesus, and been forgiven their sins, given spiritual life by the indwelling Holy Spirit, they cannot remain the same as they were before such an experience. The one who has accepted Jesus as Savior will demonstrate it in life.

Here are a few of scripturally defined signs of someone who is a genuine child of God as mentioned by the Apostle John in his first epistle:

  1. They will admit and confess their sins – 1 John 1:5-10
  2. They will grow in obedience to God’s word – 1 Joh 2:1-3
  3. They will grow spiritually and become more and more like Jesus – 1 John 2:4-6
  4. They will grow in their love of God and love for those around them – 1 John 2:7-11
  5. They will love the world less and less – 1 John 2:15-17
  6. They will grow in their ability to discern truth from error – 1 John 2:18-27
  7. They will grow in their understanding of God’s love for them and others – 1 John 3:1
  8. They will grow in their understanding of prophecy and hope in the return of Jesus – 1 John 3:2-3
  9. They will grow in their understanding of the distinctions between the children of God versus the children of the devil – 1 John 3:4-15
  10. They will grow in their willingness to lay their life down for God and others – 1 John 3:16-21
  11. They will grow in their prayer life – 1 John 3:22-23
  12. They will grow in the power of the Holy Spirit – 1 John 3:24
  13. They will grow in their ability to test the spirits – 1 John 4:1-6
  14. They will grow in their understanding of the nature of true love – 1 John 4:7-21
  15. They will grow in their ability to overcome the world by faith in Jesus – 1 John 5:1-8
  16. They will grow in their assurance of salvation – 1 John 5:9-15
  17. They will grow in their awareness of spiritual warfare – 1 John 5:16-19

 

and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

Seventh, he was willing to make things right practically (19:8c). Zacchaeus has shown evidence of an inner heart change. But a genuine inner change of heart, always leads to external changes as well. When you experience the life changing effects of being born again, it is not just an inner change, it is an outer change too (2 Corinthians 5:17). Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-20). And so, Zacchaeus was willing to make restitution, to make things right.

The word “restore” (Greek apodidomi – Present/Active/Indicative of apodidomi) means to give away, give up, give out, pay, fulfill, yield, pay back, return, recompense, sell. The Present Tense of this verb here conveys the idea of giving away and continuing to give away, paying back and continuing to pay back. Zacchaeus had been changed within and he was going to do everything he could to make things right practically on the outside.

The limits of restitution. The idea of restitution or paying back what has been unlawfully taken, is mentioned in both the Old and New Testament. A thief must pay back what is stolen. If the thief was unable to return what was stolen then they were to work it off life a slave to the one he has stolen from (Exodus 22:1, 3-6, and 14). Restitution did not simply mean returning what was stolen, it also meant returning what was stolen plus an additional amount determined to be a faire recompense for the victim’s loss and damages (Leviticus 6:2-5). Zacchaeus’ statement of repaying “fourfold” captures this idea.

Restitution is the result of genuine salvation, but it is not a requirement of salvation. We should keep in mind and heart that our salvation is not the result of any restitution we make. Our sins are stoned for and forgiven solely by the shed blood of Jesus, nothing else (cf. 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7 and 9). Restitution cannot always be made. Some offenses can never be adequately repaid. In such cases, grace needs to be applied by the offender and the victim.

The word “restitution” occurs only nine times in scripture (Exodus 22:3, 5, 6, 12; Leviticus 5:14 and 16; Numbers 5:5, 7, 8-2x). The word “restore” occurs fifty-nine times in scripture. Whenever possible, if we have sinned against someone, we should restore what we can to that person.

Restitution should not be seen or viewed in terms of retaliation. If you are a victim of someone else’s sinful actions, we are told to not seek to avenge ourselves on the offender but to entrust justice to God:

  • Romans 12:19–21 (NKJV) – 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

There is a point where we must yield recompense to God. If our government is unable or unwilling to act justly (e.g. Romans 13), then rather than take matters into our own hands, we need to surrender our situation to God. We need to forgive.

Jesus spoke directly about the need for His followers to be forgiving when He said:

  • Matthew 5:38–39 (NKJV) – 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

We are to be forgiving and we should always keep in mind how, though we were dark offenders of God, He forgave us in Christ. As it is written:

  • Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV) – And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

None of us deserved forgiveness, but God forgave us in Christ. In the same way, we ought to forgive those even if they do not deserve to be forgiven.

The concept of restitution should never be used as a means of revenge or manipulation. It should not be reduced to a means to fulfill a political agenda. Restitution should be between those who actually committed a sinful act and those who were the actual victims of that act. The Bible is very clear on this, that a sinner is responsible for their own commission of sin:

  • Ezekiel 18:20 (NKJV) – 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

We are not liable for the sins of our predecessors. I am not liable or responsible for the sins of my father. My father is not responsible for my sins. The only consequence of sin between a father and son, is that sinful parenting can affect the rearing of a child. However, that is a limited principle. For example, when we look at the lineage of the kings of Israel and Judah, we see good kings come from bad kings and bad kings come from good kings. Parenting is important, but it is not the all-deciding factor in the outcome of an offspring. Each person is responsible for responding to the light God sheds into their life. Each person is individually responsible to God.

Ultimately, all our sins were paid for on the cross of Jesus Christ. If we can make amends, make amends. But if someone we offended is dead, or it is not possible to rectify a wrong, then we simply confess our sins to God who forgives us, and we move on in life. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

This is an area where both the victim and offender need to be led by the Spirit of God. So, whenever possible, we should make restitution. But if it is not possible, we are to rely on the grace of God.

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;

Eighth, he experienced salvation because Jesus said he did (19:9a). We know Zacchaeus was saved from his sin not only because of the contextual evidence, but because Jesus said so. What Jesus says about us is all that matters. On our judgment day He will either say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 and 23; Luke 19:17), or He will say, “Depart from Me, . . . I never knew you” (Luke 13:27; Matthew 7:21 and 23). Everyone will have a judgment day before the Lord (Hebrews 9:27). On your judgment day, what will Jesus say to you?

Salvation. The word “salvation” (Greek soteria) means salvation, deliverance, preservation. The root or stem of soteria, is sao or so which means whole, fresh, healthy. The verbal root means to keep whole, to keep healthy, to save from danger, illness, or death. This is a wonderful word used by Jesus to describe what Zacchaeus had experienced.

Salvation came to Zacchaeus’ house because Jesus came to his house. And Zacchaeus experienced salvation because he welcomed Jesus. When you open your heart up to Jesus, His salvation comes. When you make your heart Christ’s home, you make His salvation a part of you.

Ninth, he exhibited faith in Jesus (19:9b). If the first eight pieces of evidence are not enough for you to see the salvation of Zacchaeus, the statement by Jesus should confirm it. Jesus said salvation had come to the house of Zacchaeus and by implication, to Zacchaeus. But Jesus said more. What is the significance of Jesus substantiating that “Today salvation has come to this house,” by saying, “because he also is a son of Abraham”? The significance is that Abraham is the father of faith. Abraham “believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). The Apostle Paul uses Abraham as his prime example of what faith is when Paul is making his argument that salvation is by God’s grace through faith not by works (cf. Romans 4). James also refers to Abraham as an example of true faith (James 2:21-26).

We do not know what the entire conversation was between Jesus and Zacchaeus but what we do know is that it had an impact on the rich tax collector. He stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold” (19:8). These words indicate a life change based on an inward heart transformation. Zacchaeus was convicted of his sin. He wanted to make things right. What Jesus brought Him, he received. We know this because Jesus responded, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham” (19:9). A “son of Abraham” is another way of saying Zacchaeus had put his faith in God (see Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4). Zacchaeus was not saved by his works; his works were a product of being saved by the faith he put in Jesus.

10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Tenth, those who have received God’s gracious salvation, should follow Jesus in seeking the lost (19:10). The account of Zacchaeus salvation is an example of Jesus’ priority. Jesus said, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” That was Jesus’ priority and that should be our priority. And that is grace. Jesus sought Zacchaeus. Jesus invited Himself into Zacchaeus house. Jesus’ holy intrusion brought salvation to Zacchaeus. That is grace. Grace means God takes the initiative to save us. Grace means God reasons with us and shows us our need and His solution to our need (e.g. Isaiah 1:18; 53:1-12; 59:1-2). Our only part is to receive by faith His wonderful gospel gift of grace in Christ.

If we are going to be ready for His coming and receive our Master, we must be saved ourselves. We must receive Jesus into our hearts. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20). That statement by Jesus is primarily and contextually, addressed to the church. But looking at the account of Zacchaeus, we could say the same for this tax collecting sinner. He opened the door of his home to Jesus. Jesus came in. And with Jesus came salvation for Zacchaeus. Jesus always enters when we open to Him. And that is good for us, that is salvation for us. That is the first order of business, be saved ourselves. Then once our salvation is secure, make evangelism a priority like Jesus did. This is the first step in getting ready for Jesus. And always remember, what is impossible for people, is possible with God.

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This