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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Rabbi made Jesus only get a glimpse of the guy Jesus knows his name. Then you John 177.
He knows his name when he doesn't condemn Zaki's hurry comes up today understate your house. Is that words of grace joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now again he shows us God's word meets what you find annoying. Just question what bothers you. Texting drivers about Lane jumpers.
The media about that infomercial and they promised you that magic product and it didn't take away your wrinkles blind referees see what bothers you fear that there something that bothers you that you would never admit bothers bothers lots and lots of people is likely to even bother many of us the grace of God bothers you may say, no, no, absolutely not. Was we don't know, maybe ask the question again. I will see if you come up with a different answer at that time the grace of God, the undeserved unearned on Hon. favor of God. Last week I said with this question. I said why would everybody want to believe that biblical Christianity is true, why wouldn't someone want to believe that that were saved by grace and grace alone, by putting our faith in faith alone in Jesus Christ. I define biblical Christianity last week in a single word I said, it's grace that's a biblical Christianity is about grace is God's answer for man's dilemma. Grace is the reason that God came to earth. John wrote he said the word became flesh and dwelt among us.
He's later in the same chapter said it was full of grace and truth.
All grace, all truth all the time. John was once is, and we beheld his glory, and he says we have received grace upon grace. It sounds wonderful, but as you read many portions of the New Testament you find something out grace bothers people. I invite you to open your Bibles to Luke chapter 19 Luke chapter 19 a familiar story Lucas describing the ministry of Christ near the end of the ministry of Christ, and he says in chapter 19 verse one, he entered Jericho. Jesus is entering Jericho. Jericho is the city of Palms 6 miles north of the Dead Sea.
It is 6 miles east of the Jordan River west of the Jordan River. Excuse me. It's the Garden City of the ancient world. It had fun because of the springs were finally created aqueducts to Jericho, so had incredible vegetation. There's a theater and ample theater built in Jericho by Herod the great, the gardens in Jericho were designed by Archelaus offered undersigned a great New Testament story and says that it was characterized by groves of feathery palms rising stately and instinctively beauty stretch gardens of roses and sweetscented he says balsam plantations.
It was the evening the Palestine the fairyland of the old world. It said in this hollow to the west of the limestone mountains and to the east is the sunken Jordan Valley, and you could see the distant purple mountains of Moab, often Jericho is about as beautiful place as it could be in at this time it's unbelievably busy.
There are people everywhere in Jericho because there's a Passover in Jerusalem and so people are moving from Jericho to the land of Jerusalem, so that you get to the city and ended the celebrate the Passover business is booming in Jericho and that means sewer taxes.
Taxes are booming in Jericho. There are three regional tax centers of Rome and set up.
They said the one up in the north in Capernaum, the one in the central part of Israel in Caesarea and in the southern part. Jericho is one of the centers for taxation and it says there that he entered Jericho and he's passing through Jesus just passing through is not staying at this stage. Luke doesn't believe he stank is just going through the city. He has an enormous number of people with probably thousands. The reason for it is everybody is now hearing that he raised Lazarus from the dead sea and once you know somebody raised somebody from the dead that's going on attracting tremendous crowds so Jericho was already big busy. It's already overflowing with people and who comes Jesus through it and it says then and there was a there was a man called by the name Zaki us.
He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich, we run into Zaki as we've known him since Sunday school classes.
He is a tax collector. It says is more than just that arc. At times, is the Greek word for tax here means a commissioner of taxes. He's attacks are there's a pyramid scheme in the guide to very top-of-the-line is the guy all the other tax collectors work for as I told you many times in the past. Rome extracted a certain amount of taxes from each province know whatever the tax collectors collected above that you can keep Sega just imagine how much graft and everything went on and noticed Luke even says this guy is extremely rich and he is hated by every Jew is the worst kind of person. Jews will not speak to him. He was not allowed to go to the synagogue. He could never go to the temple. He's a tax collector. He's considered one of his betrayed his own nation for the sake of wrong. He is unclean. In other words, if you touched him. You would have to be ceremonial clean because he so unclean they would boom is one of the most horrible men in Jericho.
That's the scenario for Zacchaeus, now it's interesting it then says that said TS was trying to see who Jesus was and was unable because the crowd of the crowd and is small in stature, so you have two problems for Zacchaeus got a big crowd and he's a small statue man know very few people in America can identify with us like you and I can right now this is Mardi Gras what's going on in Jericho is Mardi Gras just massive. The amount of people I know want to see Jesus as a one-man parade. Everyone wants to see Jesus. You see, and if you're small in stature okay. You'll notice that if you get so far deep in the crowd. You can see anything even at a Mardi Gras parade subject and my small stature means he was just short. I know we you know the song Zaki us was a wee little man a wee little man was he is always about this call and I'll he wasn't like that. And by the way, do you think of all those people who got in line the night before they heard Jesus coming through the set up the little ladder you know stuff like that. You think they're going to get other way to let Zacchaeus get to the curb know you hate Zacchaeus, he just want to see Jesus. I just want to see the guy I heard so much about him.
I want to see him this the six to Encounter Jesus has with a tax collector. In Luke, every time Jesus has an encounter with a tax collector.
It turns out well.
It's always a good encounter. It always has a positive spin every time he encounters. Religious people like scribes and Pharisees. It's terrible, but he encounters this tax collector.
And so it goes on. It says sexiest was trying to see who Jesus was unable because of the karate was small in stature, so he ran on ahead and climbed a sycamore tree so he climbed the sycamore tree.
It's a sonic upon the sycamore tree in Jude Jude at the time would've been very round very thick trunk very low to the ground almost like live oaks. The lower branches are very low to the ground would be hard for him to climb up and it he just needed to get above the crowd. So he climbs on the street you just want to simply look at Jesus as Jesus passing through one of the great ironic things here. I think it's amazing is that the word was that tedious.
It means pure innocent clean and here he is the chief tax collector. One of the most hated man in Jericho and it says and it says for he was about to pass that way and when Jesus came to the place he looked up and he saw and I guess if you understand Zacchaeus is pretty famous, or everybody knows who is it is one of the richest men in Jericho and he's rich on the backs of the people is a traitor to his people. Here's this great rabbi. This miracle working rabbi who was raised people from the dead, and he stopped he wants to talk to him. So what you think the crowds think that Keyes is going to get his right now Zaki is going to get it. This rabbi is going to challenge him right now for what a horrible human being. He is and what is done to the people. Where were they surprised that's not what Jesus did it all uses Zacchaeus hurry and come down for today I must stay at your house. What that way that's not what we want to say what what you can even touch a man like Zaki is now this rabbi want to go and stay with them at his house noticed something else. Jesus knows his name because him. Zacchaeus can admit how shocking is that was the Zacchaeus, this rabbi you heard about sums is Zacchaeus me knows my name Jesus only get a glimpse of the guy Jesus knows his knee and is yours to an mine member Nathaniel and John one said in the Daniel I saw you under the Bush he's Jesus he's a son of God.
He knows his name but he doesn't condemn Zaki us at all. In fact, assist, hurry, come down today I want to state your house. What is that words of grace. This is great speaking. Why did you condemn because I'm speaking words of grace, just like I've spoken to you see what's going to look at verse 10.
Here's the reason why. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost last week. I said Grace stoops. This week I'll say grace seeks grace save.
That's what grace does he said look I'm here. You're lost, I'm here to save you. That's grace. That's the way it worked and assist in any hurry maintained on me received them gladly. Could you imagine how happy Zacchaeus was this great rabbi want to raise people in the dead line people saw he spoke like no one else ever did in this man's invited himself to come to my house. It says gladly that TS was a lot like the prodigal son whenever he went home and his father ran and kissed it should be the way you felt whenever you trusted Jesus Christ were born again into his family. He accepted you as grace strictly by his grace, nothing else. Zacchaeus is wound up, this is this is way beyond what ever imagine what happened.
Now here comes the part where a lot of us get into the story when they sought they began to grumble and begin the grumble and bother him like it.
The word here is this a compound idea, but it's got voice goggle warriors Sonata mana Pia Biermann appeals where the sound of the word gives a mean the work car voice. I hate this. I don't like this that's a horrible man what you go stay at his house to Denny know how bad he is. Grace bothers a lot of people may even bother you as we go on this morning he says they grumbled they said he is going to be the guest of a man who is center that were to be a guest means to take her clothes off. It means that spend the night there is a stance accuses house how disgusting I mean Zacchaeus is a tax collector. The only people that hung around with tax collectors, Republicans and prostitutes. There, an outcast group and this man, this rabbi is going to go and spend time at his house that bothers me. It shouldn't be that way question is how to respond to grace what was Zacchaeus does Zacchaeus stop and he said to the Lord.
Behold, the Lord half of my possessions I give to the poor and if I defrauded anyone of anything.
I give them back four times as much. While see in Exodus 22 in verse one insisted if you rob someone with violence you assault them to steal from you have to pay them back four times as much. Zacchaeus didn't say that, he said, but if I defrauded anybody.
I'll pay them back four times as much anyone and I would take half of all my money just given to the poor have you respond. Grace you notice something about this. If looking up from our point of view.
How long was that QC minutes we say, hey, don't expect too much of only been saved about a year and are still living in the world, but there still struggling and are still trying to figure this it will come later, but it takes time for this really how come I didn't take him any time at all. His response is immediate once he understood Gracie responded immediately. Didn't wait to grow up and it is that all respond right now while they grumbled terms me know five passenger looked at before. But it's another tax collector went to see Ellie respond once again five verse 27. This is Matthew. It says and Jesus went out, noticed the tax collector named Levi or Matthew sitting at his tax booth and alligators walked up to him said follow me.
He left everything behind and got up and began to follow Christ and Levi gave a big reception for him in his house there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people reclining at the table with them. Here Levi first thing he does I'm throwing a party for all my friends the grace of God is touch me.
I want all my friends to hear about it.
I want everybody to come know that's going to be basically tax gatherer Republicans and prostitutes that succumbs to the big what's the response in the Pharisees and the scribes began grumbling God through same word God through hate this. I don't like this at all. Why do you eat with tax collectors and sinners. One way is because that's the only kind of people you could eat with every time you've eaten was somebody giving the sinners having interviewed by yourself your meeting with the center. Everybody does seem, but that there is what bothers us. I don't like this. I don't like this at all.
Why is he doing this. This is a despicable human being, not tamale. I'm sure you think it yet but see, that's the scribes and Pharisees on the like. I would be like that don't come on that were all susceptible to this and I'll show you why. Right now, go with me to Matthew chapter 19 in verse 27 Matthew 19 in verse 27. These verses at the end of 19 will set the stage for a parable that Jesus is about to teach. Here's how we think we think a lot like Peter did. Verse 27 Matthew 19. Then Peter said to Jesus, behold, we have left everything and followed you.
What then will there be for us. I mean after all we give up everything for you. I was a freshman. We had a business I give it up for you what when I get is the way we think member. This is Peter thinking this is enough. Pharisee is Peter X and I get something for this. Some of you have amazing testimonies. What I mean by that is this you may say to me you know I don't even remember a time in my life. I didn't trust Christ. I've always trust, sought means of always love the Lord and I've always kind of done the good things you know I never did really terrible things all I can run around with the worst crime never did any of that. What's in it for me see what I get for my sacrifice. But like that coming this way we think.
So Jesus says this great timing. He said truly, truly, I say to you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you shall receive.
You shall sit upon 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel. You're an apostle. Your disciple said one of the 12 tribes. I commend my kingdom. You think I would remember who you are.
Then he says this and everyone who is left house, his brothers, sisters, father, mother or children or forms for my namesake will receive many times as much, and 100 eternal life is another way Senate don't tell me what you've given up for me. You given up anything that you don't get back over and over and over and over again.
Don't talk about what you gave up just the way we think we just think along those kind of wind but when I'm done for you. This is no place for that you're getting eternal life, only getting eternal life, but pulses were joint heirs with Christ and what does he inherit everything so what else do you want why you even asking were asking because we do have a different view of life that he has. We have a different view of people than he has.
Jesus is let me set the record straight on to make a statement now is teacher parable make a statement again.
Here's a statement, but many who are first will be last and last of the first that's great many who are first glass of many who are less can be first. That's great when you think of that and I think Ron said after the radio ministry of fellowship in the if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you dislike the method one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on today's broadcast many of our previous audio programs as well at Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that SBC and LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for.
You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon on listening and remembering all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FVC Nola.org for pastor Bill Gebhardt and Jason Denhardt you for listening to fellowship in order