Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today. Our desire is for the Word of God to be spread throughout the world so that all may know Christ.
Join us now for a portion of one of our services here at Kerwin Baptist Church located in Kernersville, North Carolina. And he was rich and he sought, and notice these three words that we got for our message today, he sought to see Jesus, who he was, and could not for the press because he was little of stature. And he ran before and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to, notice this three letter word here, it changes everything, when he came to the place. It doesn't say that Jesus came to a place, it says that Jesus came to the place. He looked up and saw him and said unto him, Zacchaeus, now the Bible says one thing and the song says the other. What do you want to say when you say Zacchaeus, you come down. I know, I know you want to. For I'm going to your house today. Okay, all right. Notice what he says.
It's amazing how many children's songs are totally out of the script. Now I'm just joking. Zacchaeus make haste and come down for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw, now who are they?
They are the press, not newspaper press. But as the Bible said that Zacchaeus could not get to Jesus because of the press, it's the crowd, it's the people. The Bible says that they, and that's who we're talking about here, and when they saw it, verse 7, they all murmured saying that he was gone to be guessed with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood and said unto the Lord, behold Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. Jesus said unto him, this day is salvation come to this house, for as much as he also is a son of Abraham.
For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost. That's a great story, isn't it? This is not a parable. This is a story.
You say, preacher, what is the difference? Well, parables, we don't know if they actually happened or not. They were illustrations that Jesus gave. It doesn't mean that they didn't happen. It means that Jesus didn't give the names of the individuals. There are times here where I would say, well, I had an individual one time and I'll tell you what happened. And I didn't give you the name.
I used it as an illustration. But that doesn't mean it didn't really happen. I just withheld the name. And some of the parables that Jesus gave, we don't know.
It might be that they actually did happen. He just didn't give us the names. But this one, he gave us the names.
He gave us the accreditation. And we know that this actually happened. I want you to notice as before we pray, it said that Zacchaeus, and we'll talk about this, but at the end of the story when he got right with God, he said that anybody that I have taken money from or taken from by false accusation or had done it not legally or not correctly or not honestly, I will restore him fourfold. Now that's an interesting thing. Could you imagine if you were a businessman like Zacchaeus was, and we'll talk about everything that he did, and you had gotten quite a bit of money over the years.
The Bible says he was a rich man. And you decide that you're going to restore everything that you ever took dishonestly fourfold. That's major, isn't it? I forget how long I had been back to Kerwin, and I will withhold the names. This might be a parable. This actually happened. But I had not been back here very long, and I had a gentleman contact me and asked to meet with me in Winston. So I went and met with him, and I would obviously never share any names or anything like this. And this gentleman happened to have attended our school in the past. And I met with him, and he said years ago when I was at the school, I forget on probably I think he might have said three or four occasions.
I don't remember if it was more or less. But on three or four occasions, he had taken money from the cafeteria lunch box, the money box that kids would buy their lunch. And he had taken money from that box. And I thought, well, maybe if he just met to try to get it off his chest, and obviously it had been bothering him. And by the way, that's a good thing that that's been bothering you.
The worst thing is when it doesn't bother you and you do things like that. And it had been years ago, and of course I would have been content to just say, Well, bless your heart, you're forgiven, brother, you know, kind of a thing. But he brought up this story, and he said, I want to make it right. And it does not go to this church, so don't try to guess who it is.
It doesn't go to this church or anything. And he handed me a check for $25,000. He said, I want to make things right with God. Now, if any of you have ever taken money from our...
I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict you today. He didn't give me, obviously, that money. He gave that money to the church. And part of that money, as we added to a Christmas offering, redid much of this back room where we have Sunday school classes. When we first came, we began to try to redo some things and make it nicer.
And helped purchase some of this carpet in here that we tried to make nice. That's the first time I'd ever had that really happen to me. And he kind of brought up this, that, you know, when you get right with God, you don't want to just make things right, you want to make things really right. That's when you know that you're sincere, isn't it? Let's pray to see Jesus. Lord, we long today to see you. And Lord, we are reminded here of an individual that wanted to see you so desperately. That he did everything in his power to see you. Lord, I think if we were honest, there would be individuals, some of us sitting here this morning that would say, it's been a while since I've seen Jesus. It's been a while since I've seen him work.
It's been a while since I've felt him in my life. Lord, I pray that maybe through this familiar, literally childhood story that we all know, that somehow, Lord, you would put in us the desire again today to see you for who you really are. In Jesus' name, amen. I want to point something out in verse 3 before I get started in our outline today. You'll notice in verse 3 that the Bible says Zacchaeus sought to see Jesus and if he would have stopped right there, that would have been one thing and that would have been great. But the Bible says that Zacchaeus sought to see Jesus who he was. You know, it's one thing to say, well, I'd like to see and experience Jesus. It's another thing to say, you know what, I want to see who Jesus really is.
I want to know him that closely and intimately that I know who Jesus is and I know what he can do. I want you to notice first off this morning as we talk about this man Zacchaeus, if you're not familiar, Zacchaeus was a tax collector. Verse 2 tells us that he was chief among the publicans. Whether you realize that or not, that means and tells us that he was the head tax collector. He was in charge and that means that he obviously could do just about anything he wanted to do. People, individuals in that community hated him because he had defrauded most of them out of their money. You say, well preacher, how do you know that?
It's just common knowledge. Rome at this time had a standard rate and men like Zacchaeus, Rome would say this is what we want from our people and this is the tax that they're going to pay and Zacchaeus as the head tax collector could charge them any amount over that for tax and keep it. There were no checks and balance system in place. He had the ability to do that. There was no accountability and so in these days tax collectors were despised because they would literally charge more than they probably needed to charge but you had to pay it or you obviously would be in big trouble. So Zacchaeus had been a very dishonest individual and let's be honest, he was no different probably than any other tax collector in his time because that's what they did. That's how they made their money and they made a lot of money, many of them and the Bible says that he was very rich. So you understand a little bit about Zacchaeus. The people had no choice on the taxes that they were charged.
Anybody else feel their pain? I just wanted to bring that into play this morning. It has nothing to do with the message. I just wanted to say that. Now while Zacchaeus had wealth, the Bible says that he was a rich man. He had prominence. He was chief tax collector. The Bible says he was rich. So we know that he had authority. We know that he had wealth. His financial, political and social connections, as great as they were, we know from this story that for some reason there was still a need in Zacchaeus' life that was not fulfilled. There was something still missing and Zacchaeus did not know what it was.
Now look at me. If Zacchaeus was 100% fulfilled, happy and content with his life, why would he have tried to run down and find out who Jesus is? Dear friend, we always say it but I want you to know, wealth, material things, all these things, there's nothing wrong with any of them. But I want you to know that they do not bring fulfillment in life.
As long as you know that. Everybody acts as if it's wrong to have things. It is not wrong to have things and I've told you I'm not going to get on this hobby horse again but I am thrilled anytime one of our people that I know or even somebody that are Christians and they serve God, I am thrilled when God blesses them and gives them things and they get a new car, they get a new house. Man, I am thrilled for them and there ought to be one place that people shouldn't be jealous or envious. It ought to be in the house of God. Amen?
We all understand that. But Zacchaeus had found that he had everything that really money and position could get him but there was still something missing. Now I want you to notice if you would in verse 3, the Bible says he sought to see Jesus for who he was. Now in my mind I have often thought why did Zacchaeus want to go find Jesus? Second question is this, how did Zacchaeus even hear about Jesus? What was it about what he heard that made him interested to find out about Jesus? The only thing I can think of because he had not ever seen him before, we know from the story, he had never been around Jesus, he had never even been close to Jesus. So the only thing I can think of is that somehow in Zacchaeus' line of work, through the individuals that he collected tax from, somehow he saw a difference in some of those individuals and the connection was that they had a relationship with Jesus and that made him want to find out what he could about Jesus.
I have thought in my mind could you imagine and God doesn't tell us all that happened but could you just imagine the possibilities? I could see Zacchaeus walking through obviously town and he was busy about his day, probably had his morning coffee in Danish or something like that and I could see him probably walking around and going by a house and it had been vacant and he sees that now there's somebody living there at this house and I could see Zacchaeus realizing well somebody knew he was living here and I need to collect their taxes, they weren't living here before, this was a vacant house, I don't understand. I can see him kind of knocking on the door and this lady comes out to the door and he looks at her and he said well ma'am I see that you're living here now. She said yeah I haven't been in this house for a long period of time but now my life's different and I'm back here at home. And he said well ma'am what do you mean?
And she says well I'm going to be honest with you, I had been the kind of an individual that I had been with a bunch of different men, I'd been with married men and I just really was going from one place to the other. I was living with a man that wasn't even my husband at that time but I went to the well one day and I was sitting there at the well and I was thinking about my life that you know something is missing out of my life. And there's this man named Jesus and he came and sat down at that well and you know what he just somehow and I don't know how he knew everything about my life.
He knew I had done wrong, he knew that I was living with an individual, he knew that I had lived a promiscuous life but for some reason this man I believe he was a prophet and now I believe I know he was the son of God and he told me everything that I did in my life but he didn't judge me and he didn't criticize me, he simply told me that he had water that would give me water that I would never thirst again and all of a sudden all these men showed up and they were going to criticize me and he drew in the sand, I don't know what he said but they left me alone and my life's been different ever since and I've gotten my heart right and I'm in a house now and I want to do something for that guy. I can see Zach is thinking well my goodness Will this is what you owe on taxes and I'm sure he's used to people saying well this is ridiculous and him saying well you know what this you know he taught me that I need to render to Caesar what is Caesar's and here you go. I can see him thinking man I can see him going to the next house you know and here's maybe a family that had lived there for years just some kids and maybe a wife we don't know and he had always gone and there's never a man there and I can see him going to the next house and knocking on that door and all of a sudden a man opens the door he said yes sir can I help you and he kind of take it back he said well you know sir my name's Zach Ias I'm the chief tax collector.
Oh okay. He said well sir I'm not used to seeing you here are the same people that live here. He said oh yeah this is my wife this is my kids and I can see him saying well sir where have you been or you knew? I can see him saying oh no he said listen I got to tell you what happened to me.
He said I've had this disease and I have been sick for years and you know the pool of Bethesda down there? You know how that every morning the angels would come and they would just touch that water and the first person in the water they'd get healed and he said I was laying there by that pool I had no I just lived there my whole life and I was just waiting for the chance to get in but because of my health I couldn't get in the pool first and he said I never could get healed and he said here I got kids and a wife and I couldn't work I couldn't provide for them I couldn't do anything so I just lived there at that pool and I've been there all these years that's why I haven't been home he said but the other day there's a man named Jesus that came by and he said everybody always beat me into the pool and he said but he came up and he touched me and when he touched me he said man I stood up for the first time in years and he said I'm not lame anymore he said I rolled up that bed and threw that bed away and he said I came back home and I got a job now and I'm providing for my family he said Jesus changed everything in my life and I could see Zacchaeus saying well this is what you owe in taxes I could see him going to this other house and he obviously knew that nobody lived there and as he went by and he saw that man all of a sudden now there's shrubs in the front and now there's curtains on the windows and now they got a flag you know hanging on the door or something like that it's real biblical I'm going to tell you right now he had a tar heel flag hanging from the door you know something like that I just lost half of you didn't I I'm sorry and I could see him walking up and literally thinking well man there's somebody that lives in this house now I could see him kind of going up on the door and thinking alright I got a new customer and I can you know I can get some money from this and all of a sudden this man opens the door and this man's just clean shaven and all put together and looking there like a sharp individual and he kind of looks he said well sir my name's Zacchaeus I'm head tax collector and I could see the man saying well it's good to meet you he said well sir I see that you know you're new here have you just moved into the area and I could see the man he said well you could say that and Zacchaeus said well what are you talking about he said well you know I'm a little bit ashamed to tell you this but I used to live on this little island called Gadara and I'm what they called a maniac and he said I know you're not going to believe this but I used to run around the graveyards and he said I was naked I didn't have any clothes on I'd cut myself and abuse myself he said I would run around I had stuffed hair everywhere and he said I just was nuts and out of my mind and I was running around and he said people were scared of me and they stayed away from me and I could see Zacchaeus thinking well you know I kind of remember that there was some strange guy on the island of Gadara and he said you know it was like that he said but I'm going to tell you something there's this man named Jesus and he showed up there and he said he says here I was nobody had anything to do with me scared half to death he says I was out of my mind and he said Jesus came up and he cast those demons that were in my life and controlling me he said he cast those devils out and he said as soon as he did that he said I was back in my right mind and I knew what I was doing and he said I gave my heart to Jesus he said I've got my life cleaned up and he said would you believe when he cast those devils out they said you know what we don't want to go into the sea and Jesus said you get into the sea and the demons wouldn't go and so God says alright and so God Jesus the Bible says cast those demons into the pigs and the pigs went into the sea I can see Zacchaeus just listening he said now I moved here and I'm getting my life right I got a job and he said you know what I'm going around telling folks about Jesus Zacchaeus have you ever met Jesus because he changed my life completely I can see Zacchaeus just forgetting the tax and everything just walking away and I don't know how many people he met I don't know how many stories he heard but something along the way Zacchaeus realized they got something I don't have I'm collecting their taxes and I'm getting money from them and I got all the things and I got the house and I got the things but they got something in their little house that I don't have in my big house and they got something in all their lack of things that I don't have in all my things and I've got to figure out exactly what's going on so Zacchaeus said I'm going to go ask and began to ask around have you heard about Jesus where is this Jesus guy going to be I'm going to go check him out and when he finally found out the Bible says he sought to see Jesus I want you to notice number one this morning the difficulties of seeing him if you'll notice in verse three the Bible says he sought to see Jesus who he was and could not for the press people were in the way you know how often in life people are what's in the way for you to see Jesus sometimes you can be sitting right in the church and you're worried about people you're worried about what they might think or what they might say so many times in our lives we have influences and friendships and relationships that are leading us down the wrong way and taking us down the wrong road and Zacchaeus as he was seeking to get to Jesus apparently he was kind of late showing up where Jesus was maybe he had just found out that you know what he's about 10 miles down we hear that there's a thing going on there today and I can see Zacchaeus getting there but the Bible says the press was already there the crowd was already there and Zacchaeus when he got there he couldn't see him because people were in the way and I'm here to tell you in your life if you try to get to Jesus Satan will always put people in the way they'll always be in the way and dear friend you've got to determine today whether you want Jesus more than you want people and if you've been saved you've got to determine that you know what if I'm not right with God and I'm not as excited about church as I used to be and I'm not as convicted by preaching as I used to be and I don't get in my Bible like I used to and I don't think about spiritual things like I used to well dear friend you better check your life and look at your influences and look at your relationships and say you know what maybe there's some people that I need to get away from so that I can get back to Jesus where I need to be the difficulty of seeing him the difficulty number one under that of the crowds number two we see the difficulty of his condition the Bible says here in verse three obviously that he sought to see Jesus who he was he could not for the press because the Bible says he was little of stature he couldn't get to Jesus because of others and he literally felt he couldn't get to Jesus because of himself this is something about him he couldn't change this is something that kept him from being able to see Jesus like he wanted to but there's nothing he could do about this you might be here this morning and you might say preacher I would love to see Jesus and I would love to get close to Jesus but I've done some things in my life and I can't change it and I've got some things in my past and I wish it were different and if I knew better now maybe I wouldn't have but I've done these things and it's in the way and dear friend you might have a condition or a past or circumstances and you're bringing that to the table and you think that's going to keep me from getting to Jesus dear friend it won't I believe when you desire to see the Lord you need to understand that there will always be obstacles that Satan puts in your way he'll use people but even more importantly he'll use you he'll use your guilt he'll use your shortcomings he'll tell you hey don't you go don't you go volunteer to serve at this church and do things at this church you're not you can't teach a Sunday school class you can't work on a bus route you can't help an Awanas you can't coach upwards you can't do all those things just think about all these things there's just no way and listen Satan will put yourself in the way if he can all I'm saying is this that when you go after Jesus Christ when you develop a desire within your heart to see him you can rest assured that there will be difficulties and you've got to decide either you're going to overcome those obstacles or you're going to let them stand in your way you've got two choices I want you to notice number three the difficulty of the critics not just the difficulty of the crowd and the difficulty obviously of his condition but if you'll notice in verse 7 the difficulty of the critics I thought this was interesting look if you would at verse 7 and when they saw it the very crowd that was keeping him away from Jesus in the meantime Zacchaeus meets Jesus and Jesus goes to his house with him we'll talk about that in a minute and look what happens after Jesus does that sees Zacchaeus goes to Zacchaeus' house verse 7 and when they saw it they all murmured saying already Zacchaeus hadn't even got saved yet and the critics are there now notice how they criticized first they criticized Zacchaeus notice what they said at the end of verse 7 that Jesus had gone to be a guest with a man that is a sinner oh they are one to talk by the way they were right Zacchaeus was a sinner what they forgot to mention is that they're sinners too so they criticized Zacchaeus and half these people had to be religious they had to be only religious people start criticizing sinners sinners don't normally criticize sinners religious people criticize sinners I want you to notice secondly then they criticize Jesus they criticize Jesus for going to Zacchaeus' house man nobody can make them happy they criticize Zacchaeus because he's a sinner and then they criticize Jesus because he's trying to save that sinner can I tell you something dear friend I'm learning there's always critics criticism is easy it's just easy it makes you feel better if I tear them down I feel better it justifies your laziness because if somebody's doing something and you criticize them you don't feel so bad for not being the one doing anything and not making an effort criticism is easy but let me tell you something I have found out that really there's not as many critics as you think there are there's just a few and they're loud but let me tell you something when you serve God you can't let critics get in your way and you can't let them discourage you because you know what Jesus has a job and his job was to get to that sinner it didn't matter who said what God's people said Amen the difficulties of seeing him I want you to see the dedication of seeing him notice if you would verse 4 the Bible says that Zacchaeus ran before and climbed up into the Sycamore tree to see him so what it says here is that he got there and he couldn't see over the crowd so he realized that Jesus was traveling a certain direction so the Bible says Zacchaeus literally physically ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up in a tree now I found that interesting now let me tell you why, I don't know if you've ever even thought about this in the story, it should be enough that he ran ahead of the crowd, you're the first one in line you think alright I got my spot but he was short of stature so I think Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus so desperately that even if he got ahead of the crowd he wanted to make sure he was in a high enough spot so at last minute somebody didn't come stand in front of him or 3 or 4 people come stand in front of him and block his view again he got there ahead of time and he climbed up in the Sycamore tree so that nobody could block his view dear friend that's the only way you're ever going to get around the crowd is if you run away from them and you get yourself in a place high enough that they can't bother you whether you know it or not that's good I feel like T.D. Burgess right there that's good, that's good I want you to notice under the dedication of seeing him number one, it required effort the Bible says he ran before and climbed ran and climbed both of these things indicate that Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and he was willing to do anything it took to be able to climbing into the tree is not the easiest thing for a man of short stature outrunning a crowd is not the easiest thing for a man of short stature but I've said it before and I'll say it again when you want something as a human being you will do anything you can do to get it do you want Jesus that bad? do I want Jesus that bad? it required effort it will cost you something to see Jesus are you still with me? we've got just a couple more minutes it will cost you something to see Jesus the price will be prayer the price will be time in God's word the price will be attendance to his house the price will be turning away from your sins the price will be sacrificing sometimes your pride and your will and your way I'm here to tell you for you and I if you see Jesus it's going to cost us something and it's going to take effort but it will be well worth whatever you sacrifice and it will be worth whatever it costs you thank you for listening today we hope you received a blessing from our broadcast the Kerwin Baptist Church is located at 4520 Old Hollow Road in Kernersville, North Carolina you may also contact us by phone at 336-993-5192 or via the web at kerwinbaptistchurch.com enjoy our services live and all our media on our website and church app thank you for listening to the Kerwin broadcast today God bless you God bless you
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