· Jesus was walking through Jericho
· Made a point to mention Zacchaeus was a wealthy (successful) tax collector, which also means despised by his community.
· Z new of Jesus (perhaps his fame) was which is why he wanted to see him and likely why he let him stay at his house.
· Z was very obedient to Jesus’ commands.
· As usual, Jesus didn’t hang out with the “in crowd”
· Z didn’t give away all of his wealth, but did repay significantly more than what he took.
· Jesus alludes to the purpose of his time on earth as being for the sake of the lost, not as a triumphant conqueror as the Jews had hoped.
· Jesus alludes to himself in a parable to be an unwanted man from a far off land who has come to become king of it.
· The servants that invested well what they were given were considered good, while the one that didn’t have a invest his talent was wicked
· There is an undertone in the parable that Jesus “expects” his servants to work for him, knowing that he wants fruit from their labor
· The to-be-king in the parable was clear that his enemies would be destroyed
· Jesus taught lessons as he was passing through different areas on the way to his destination
· Jesus seemed to know there would be a donkey whose owners would gladly give it to Him, and it was so.
· It was the disciples of Jesus who put their cloaks on the road as a sign of a king entering a kingdom
· Jesus very publically was recognized as royal and deserving of praise – which the Pharisees didn’t agree with.
· Jesus was so confident in his praiseworthiness that if people didn’t praise, the rocks would supernaturally – hyperbole or literal?
· Jesus laments as he makes a very serious allegation against Jerusalem – God’s city – that it would be destroyed for its lack of acknowledgement of Jesus.
· Jesus has such a following, that even when he personally drives out the market made in the house of prayer, the Pharisees couldn’t do anything about it.
Jesus makes several lessons clear on his journey through Jericho and onto Jerusalem. First of all, that salvation comes as a result of actual repentance – a changing of the way one sinfully did things. The second is that Jesus is like a noble man who is about to assume kingship of a country and those of his servants who do His work, will be recognized as good servants because of the fruit, regardless of the proportion invested, that comes from their labor. Then He makes clear that any enemies will be judged by him and annihilated. As Jesus enters Jerusalem, he publically enters as a king would, making it known that He is to be worshiped. Lastly, its clear that there were many who opposed him.
Taking these things at face value, it is not hard to see the process of how someone responds to the gospel, becoming a follower of Jesus, and as such how they are to live their lives. First you repent of your evil ways, recognizing that Jesus is King. As your King, he has given you things in which you can invest for His Kingdom’s sake. It is necessary to intentionally invest the talents, time, money and such that He has given us, lest we become wicked, lazy servants, and cast out. Furthermore, those who deny Jesus will not be a part of His kingdom and ultimately pay the price of death. It shouldn’t be a far stretch of the imagination that if Jesus had much opposition, his faithful servants will too face much opposition.
There are many personal convictions that I consider in regard to this passage. Am I more than just sad, sorry and regretful for my sin, or am I taking steps to actually stop doing it? Am I investing the things God has given me (my time, character and treasure) or am I being a lazy, self serving, Jesus “follower”? Do I worship Jesus in a similar, radical way that his disciples did as he entered Jerusalem – publically proclaiming him, with much zeal and flamboyance, ask my King? Do I stand up for Him, His name, His church, His people in light of opposition or do I shrink back because I am scared of what people think?
While I look back and see that God has very clearly grown me in all of these areas, it’s also clear that the job is not done and I need to continually progress in each area. I need to pay attention to true, immediate repentance no matter it’s cost. I need to always be an entrepreneur with my skills, time and money for the sake of building the kingdom. I need to be more bold in how I worship Jesus with my life. These are all practical areas I can personally work on, but they are also areas that only the Holy Spirit can accomplish which drives me to my knees in prayer.
King of Kings, Lord of Lords,
You are truly worthy of worship. Your very creation will cry out if I don’t, and I refuse to have any rocks out worshiping me. Please, God, reveal to me how I can practically turn away from sin, and show me any sin that I may not yet be aware of so I can repent of that too. Continue to open my eyes to ways I can better build your kingdom, and let your Holy Spirit yield fruit from my efforts – for your glory. Just like Paul prayed, make me more and more and more bold to share the glorious gospel of your Son, Jesus Christ. It is in His name that I pray.
Posted on Tue, January 27, 2015
by Eric Keener