Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23rd

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hebrews 8; Ecclesiastes 10; Jeremiah 41-42.
Today's scripture focus is Luke 19:1-10.

Luke 19:1-10

English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus and Zacchaeus

19 He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: A Sinner Meets a Seeking Saviour Part 1 and Part 2
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: Jesus and Zacchaeus

What stands out to me in this story is the immediate fruit of Zacchaeus' salvation.

The passage doesn't tell us what Jesus said to Zacchaeus as far as gospel presentation goes.  It doesn't need to.  We know what Jesus would have preached.  What we don't know, is whether or not the gospel would take root in the life of Zacchaeus.  And so the text tells us.  It took root all right!

Zacchaeus went from someone who made a living as as traitorous thief to a generous benefactor determined to make restitution - times 4! - for his wrongs.  That does not happen without a transformed heart.  That does not happen without the transforming power of Jesus on his life.

The impossible happened.  A rich man entered the kingdom of heaven (love how this story follows after Luke 18!).  With God, nothing is impossible.  

Salvation requires repentance.  Repentance from our unrighteousness?  Absolutely.  Repentance from our righteous acts?  Yes!  As it says in Isaiah - even our righteous deeds are as filthy rags to our holy God.

Jesus sought out Zacchaeus.  Zacchaeus was repentant.  And it was evidenced in a transformed life.  Immediately.

Is there evidence of our salvation?

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 19:11-27
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Hebrews 9, Ecclesiastes 11, Jeremiah 43-44

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