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August 7, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Tim Barr preaches a chapel message entitled “Holiness and Hospitality” Today’s scripture passage is Luke 19.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927.
The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform will hear from Dr. Tim Barr, senior pastor of Tri-City Baptist Church in blue Springs, Missouri to Miletus.
In a study of Zaki us in Luke 19 Bibles open with me to Luke chapter 19 quiz. Maybe God might use his word in this short time we have together to help us be conformed in the image of Christ.
Father, we desperately need the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and we know that the spirit works through the word of Christ. So we asked that we might respond in obedience that we might find ways to engage our culture and our world that are unique to us but follow a biblical pattern it's in Christ name we pray.
Amen this morning I will turn our attention to a gospel account that presents an evangelistic pattern that I believe is incredibly significant for this generation now sadly the account were to look at is rarely discussed. Even in adult church rather than Internet academic setting like this this morning we are going to learn about Zaki us members Zaki us. You probably first met him in a little children's toddler book right. He's the wee little guy that climbed up into a tree and for many of us the last time we thought about him was when we were teaching junior church and then some strange preacher who never met shows up at Bob Jones University in an academic world and contends that there is a mission old strategy in this story that is significant for our generation and some would say is that possible I would say I believe it is. But we have to do something different with the story than we did before. Just begin for a moment and imagine this story in your own mind. Use your sanctified imagination. Can you picture Zaki us in his sycamore tree which we probably as a fig tree right to picture him in that tree and then you ask yourself why does this matter.
But why does it matter that this short man climbed a tree and then maybe we should ask even a more important question. Why would that matter for our understanding of a mission old strategy in this generation in order to answer that question I would like to begin if I could, by simply reading the entire account of Zaki, as I think of a surprise, as I read it. There's a lot of details that are kinda lost in your picture book. Listen we can find them in the original texts were in Luke chapter 19 starting in verse one and Jesus entered and passed through Jericho and behold, there was a man named Zaki us, which was the chief among the publicans and he was rich, and he sought to see Jesus who he was and could not for the press, because he was little stature and he ran before and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way when Jesus came to the place he looked up and saw him and set on the M Zaki us my case and come down for today I must abide at thy house, and he made haste, and came down and received him joyfully when they saw what they all murmured, saying that he is going to be a guest of 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.
If I'd taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said to him, this day is salvation come to this house for so much as he also is a son of Abram. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. How often have you read that statement.
The final statement in Scriptures for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost you agree with me from a simple reading of the text that there is something in this story that should shape our understanding of the mission of the message of Jesus Christ. There's something about gospel proclamation that is wrapped up and communicated in this account. Let's begin. If we can by thinking this is a story of an interrupted journey and in order to do that we need to cut or reconstruct in our own minds. The story that we know incredibly well. So if I could. I like to read tell you the story would put it into its historical and theological context so that when we are done. I here's I want you to know this is not really the story of Zaki us. This is actually the story of Jesus Christ on a journey of which Zaki is was part of Jesus's bigger story. I've never seen that in any my picture books of you when I look at a picture book that I always see is the little guy in the tree and Jesus is off to the side the center of the picture. Zaki is what we were to think about this correctly, the center of the picture ought to be Jesus, and the tree and Zaki is her to the side you see Jesus was on one of the most important journeys of his lifetime.
Jesus leaves Galilee in the north for the very last time before he goes to the cross. Bible scholars disagree significantly on how long the journey took we all agree kinda what how it happened on, we know that from Galilee, Jesus goes over towards the Jordan River. He comes down as was often his case he would when he would go that direction, he would stop at Jericho before going up to Jerusalem. Now Jericho becomes important because this is where the story of Zaki's took place. Now I say Jericho. Few of us think of the story of Jericho right revise that. What is the most important story that Took Pl. in Jericho. Most of us were gone.
Old Testament not new but here's a story of Jesus. He is coming in the Jericho. He is just past as you enter in the Jericho there was an area where many of the poor beggars were that were there, and Jesus engage one of them, as he enters into this town is about 15 miles northeast of Jerusalem and is Jesus is entering into this town. It was a wealthy community that what I think we know why you see if you work, trade route, you are a city that can make a lot of money if you are the last city on a trade route from from a Roman perspective the Mediterranean circle going all the way out to the south and the east.
Then the last city.
There became the hub city of all of the trade that went out towards the desert and that is where Jericho was. And that meant that Jericho was a wealthy town in the time of Jesus.
But as you might not be surprised. Wealthy towns do not always mean godly towns they modernize state's most powerful cities the wealthiest cities when I say New York City you think revival right when I say Las Vegas what you think holiness when I say Los Angeles you know what to think. We our cities will think of holy places. But when you think of trade cities, you often think of the worst and this is exactly Jericho and Jesus goes into this despised town and meets the most despised man in the town.
If you look carefully at your Bible notice that when he goes in.
He sees the chief in verse two among the publicans. They may be a better way to put it is he is a chief tax collector.
Now it is fascinating to me that Jesus is going to meet the tax collector, but when I meet when reading the story I find out it's actually the other way around. It is this tax collector desired to see Jesus. Now why would someone who is involved in collecting taxes for Rome in a major metropolitan community ever want to connect with Jesus as the last person you would think would be interested in Jesus and his message now that the course we all know this man had a certain problem and that was he was short, I can somewhat identify with that. When I was in seventh grade I was the tallest one the tallest kids in mice class I was on the basketball team. I was a center if you remember back in those days that we called them right then we moved to a forward, like a second guard then I ended up being a guard I was ever fast enough to be a point guard.
I then became a benchwarmer. Then I decided it wasn't worth even being on the team.
All because in eighth grade. Everybody came back about my height in ninth grade. They surpassed my height in 10th grade they kept surpassing my height and my never changed and there's a sense and where our stature is not something we can control now have all the things that could be controlled here.
It's not his stature that is shocking to make you want to see Jesus is his choice of professions. This is a man who would join with Rome. He was one of the chief tax collectors for Rome in this if you would a economically prosperous city and this man was interested in Jesus. If I were to pick one person that I would think it would be least likely to be interested in the message of Jesus. Zaki us would be at the top of that list.
Yet this man was interested.
He was so interested. He climbs up in a tree about when I picture that my mind always imagine him climbing up in a tree because he was pragmatic. You know you in the in the storybooks.
He was short, everybody was tall.
He climbed up in a tree that gave him a better view. But I don't think that's wise in the story at all if you think of a wealthy businessman today. What will come to close would be where namebrand right always maybe a suit. Now imagine it being so excited about seeing Jesus come by that he's realizing he's lost in the shuffle. So he lays all of his dignity aside and climbs up into a tree because he is so motivated to see Jesus.
When you think of Zaki is climbing a tree.
Don't think short guy getting a view think here is a man who, from the outside was willing to lay aside his own respectability to get a glimpse of Jesus there either was something stirring in his heart. As Jesus is going by Jesus stops and looks up at Zacchaeus and then he speaks to G.
Then Jesus speaks Zaki is not as important anytime you're studying a narrative anytime you're starting a story, you should always pay attention to the actual dialogue what is said, because often the key ideas are wrapped up in what is said in the story and listen what is said Zaki is make haste come down today I must abide in your house to put that in modern English Jesus was walking by, sees a man up in the tree and says this Zacchaeus can I come your house it in an executive can I come to your house and eat your food.
This Zacchaeus can can I come your house is your food and stay at your house that's an amazing statement of Jesus.
Jesus doesn't look at them and say Zaki is to know your center is a look at Zacchaeus and say if you died today are you're certain you're on your way to heaven right it is a sale of a yellow pencil and pen and draw for you a bridge, all which are great ways to share the gospel ideas into a them. He just looks at Zacchaeus and says I can't do mine.
Can I come your home you will make a meal for me to just one like to care me for a while. That is the most shocking thing that Jesus might say in this third action that is describe where it said he wants to abide in your houses is maybe the most clear way in the New Testament language to say hey could you show me hospitality would you entertain me you know Zaki is immediately offered. The food in the house and with much joy in the and in the ancient near Eastern world.
There was no greater way to show respect then offer someone hospitality now never got a picture in your mind and hopefully obtaining a beautiful picture in mind the need to do this. Imagine Jesus walking in the Jericho.
The crowd is thronging around him. Zacchaeus loses all of his dignity climbs up into a tree. Jesus stops in the middle the crowd sees them and says can I come your house tonight. Can you feed me could get come down quickly take care of me. Now he's not the only one you're picturing her mind right there. There's all the other people that are around and that's really the next word that is mentioned all the people began to mutter in their breath keys it what is that sound like you're in a class where the teacher stands up the class and says were have a pop quiz.
This sound that you heard from your mouth and all of your friends. That is the sound that erupted from all the people. When Jesus said to become your own come down quickly. Come, come, feed me come take care of me.
The response of all the people was a grumbling and muttering under their breath I say why will remember.
Zacchaeus was a tax collector right and we know that they would often collect money for Rome and they would collect a little extra for themselves. We know from his own words. Later in the account. I've already read that he was false accusations to cause people to pay more than they should have paid. So when Jesus says hey can I come your home. He is can I eat your food, all the people around her like where you think the money came from for that food.
Good news is he know who he's talking to. This is a polluted politician and thus the money that the politician got must be polluted. Therefore, if Jesus was to eat from the polluted money that the polluted politician has one that by definition make Jesus polluted the arguments begin to grow within the account and certainly we can imagine how easy would be to say a corrupt man with corrupt food could corrupt the person with a message of hope and I have no idea when Zach uses words are said because the next thing we get in the account veracity need always pay attention to the words what is said what is quoted, listen to the words that Zaki is says they're just amazing. Verse eight.
Zaki stood gives me every hand to say this that I Zaki is heard the grumbling.
Zaki is likely did not wait till he went home, but I cannot prove it but I am inclined to think that because the language of standing and listen to his words.
Behold, Lord, that does our Lord matter to you now think about what he said he was up in the tree losing his dignity and then when he stands up and speaks likely in the presence of everyone he says, Lord there. There's more going on here than just casual interest.
There's a sense of understanding who Jesus the master is behold, Lord. The half of my goods I give to the poor and if I've taken anything from any man by false accusation I restored to him fourfold.
I think what Zacchaeus did as he realized that he wanted Jesus to be able to come to his home. He wanted to show hospitality to Jesus, but then as he heard them the grumbling and the murmuring. He's like I know the message of Jesus and if he comes to my home and I and I stay the way I am. I'm going to pollute Jesus's reputation, so it Zaki is does is fascinating, he publicly repents of all of his sin and seeks to restore all the broken relationships that he had created out of his own greed announced about there for second Jesus started on this journey starting in Galilee going all the way to Jerusalem and were asking ourselves is this an interruption in Jesus's ministry that is just stopping breaking what Jesus is all about. Will Jesus is walking in a town and there's a man who's identified by his sin. Jesus said, take kick I come your house now quickly help me let me stay at your house and the man responds in open repentance and declares the Lordship of Christ. This is not an aberration from Jesus journey. This is the point of the journey.
Of course Jesus then says something of significant importance.
He says that salvation came to this man's house and by the way, I think you can even expand that out to the house of all Israel, and then in verse 10. This is the reason for Jesus's entire journey for the Son of Man is to come to seek and to save that which was lost in this incredible little account.
We have a microcosm of what becomes the great commission, we have a Savior who is into a world that is bound by sin, declaring a message that can take even the worst sinner and radically transform them to where they trust in Christ as Lord and Savior and the sinner publicly repents of his sin.
This is the gospel on display so we thought about this is a story of a journey interrupted, but now what I like to do if I could is re-think through this story from just a slightly different lens. But what you see. It's not really different is just were changing the way we envision it so that we can begin to think how does this ancient story land in a practical mission strategy for us today. Let's think of the story in terms of here's my fancy word I what you learn. This word redemptive hospitality. What you think of it in terms of redemptive hospitality and in order to do this we have to really focus in again on the interaction between the characters. Now let's start with noticing the names of our characters. Now Jesus, we know that name right. His name will be Jesus because he will do what Matthew chapter 1. He will save his people from their sins that happen in the story.
I was Zaki is a Jew certainly and and so does he end up with real salvation. Jesus does what Jesus does, but more interestingly, Zaki us have a guess what his name means so Zaki is is the Greek or Hellenized form of the Jewish name Zach hi and sick hi means the righteous one now would enter you and thought this man the climbed up in the tree was the righteous one will certainly not, because while the righteous one was his name. His title that his legal profession defined his character, not his given name and his legal profession as he was the chief of the tax collectors is fascinating that this is the only example that we have of this word chief tax collector when normally we look and say within the Roman structure we know what these roles are. We know what a tax collector is when a lot of scholars believe that this name was really strategic to the location of Jericho because this was an economic hub city. This man was not just a typical tax collector who collected taxes from the area. This is likely a man that was also collecting international tariffs on all the money coming in. I this was a man who was Jewish.
He was collecting taxes for the enemy not only from the Jewish people, but from all the people the Jewish people should be trading with words. Everyone that was supposed to bring their wealth under Solomon and bring it into Jerusalem, so it would stay there. This Jewish man was collecting from all those people as well and sending that on her own or lease.
Some of it and keeping the rest for himself. So the one whose name is the righteous one turns out to be anything but what righteous so here's the amazing thing by into the account.
Zaki is becomes what Zacchaeus he repents and becomes a righteous one wife because Jesus showed redemptive hospitality. Let's talk about redemptive hospitality for second what is it that Jesus said and did the transform so much he didn't come preaching long messages on depravity, although that is needed it income declaring the full gospel message.
Although I think that is essential for redemption. He came and offered hospitality, peace, and even more in this case, he accepted the hospitality and one last account I think maybe will help you if I member is walking. One time Donna wrote a small little town there were two men in that town that were probably is offensive to the town's sake is was that his community both these men lived together in a house in a small country town. I was walking by them in her storm was coming in that day just walking my way to a church building and the men and started taking off their shingles off the roof of the house.
They were kind and I never really knew if they were like in a partnership, but I really am but assume the town they were as I was walking by.
I thought you know what I'm a contractor little bit by background I get air tools that hammer sinner to try put a roof on right. I thought I don't know if it's a good idea for a Baptist preacher to go up on a roof with two men to put a roof on house with those two men live in that house, got my dear and I and so was walking by them I will totally buy and she will buy the house I got to the next road.
By that point I was feeling so incredibly guilty my soul. I turn around, walk back and he said the guys and said hey I don't know if you need any help I can I help you put a roof on her house before rains and they said hey we just called some family there coming but thanks for the offer, and from that moment on, they began every time I meet them anywhere in town in the store they would stop and talk to me in and I was able to build a friendship. I was able to share the gospel with one of them. You see, this model is exactly the model we are called to.
We are not called to be distant from people, but rather we are called to love them now I have to ask one last question because were to talk about redemptive hospitality and picturing all this in my mind on picturing Jesus willing to be at a tax collector's house which is probably as offensive as me putting a roof on the house of someone two men who are living together right I mean you like wait a second, doesn't holiness protect us from hospitality.
Isn't there like a like a antithetical relationship between holiness and hospitality. Isn't that exactly what everybody was murmuring about Alcock and Jesus go to this man's house hockey be there and what I would say is this whatever I know about Jesus.
He was tempted in all points as we are yet without what sin he was completely holy. I'm not arguing for a kind of hospitality where you sacrifice holiness to be hospitable, arguing that there is a kind of hospitality that allows us to be holy, which still accepts the hospitality the laws. In other words, we must become friends of the lost, so that we can share with them the redemptive message that allows them to become holy as well.
The hardest thing we had to learn as a group of churches is hospitality and holiness do not fight with each other, but rather there is a way for us to be holy and engaged. So before and I can ask a single question to you is there someone right now in your life. Maybe your family.
Maybe some of the community that right now you know their loss.
But if if you went out the coffee with them.
If you connect with them. Someone like Rowan ago. Oh, there really kind of in the descendent of a Christian should ever hang out with those people. Can I encourage you follow Jesus's model say a could get together for coffee. Can I come over to your house. Don't abandon your holiness. Take the message of Jesus to them. Don't hide behind your holiness. Do not use it as an excuse, but rather bring your holiness together with hospitality and engage the culture around us. Father, help us to never use this excuse the sins of others to excuse our apathy and evangelism but help us to finding in Christ this a bit of clear awareness that we can take the gospel to anywhere in the world even the most broken places and share the message of Christ help us to know that we never need to sacrifice our holiness. But we can be holy and hospitable to same time and may we bring these together in our evangelism. It's in Christ name we pray. Amen.
You been listening to a sermon from Dr. Tim Barr, senior pastor of Tri-City Baptist Church in blue Springs, Missouri. Join us next week as will begin a study of the 10 Commandments on The Daily Platform