Last Sunday was our very first service for 2019 and we were given a very important reminder.
Pastor Joven preached about the life of Zacchaeus (Luke 19), a rich tax collector who cheated people and stole their money for his own; in the eyes of God and those around him, he was living a sin filled life. However, when Jesus passed through Jericho, Zacchaeus, like many others wanted to see him. Crowds of people gathered around Jesus and it was practically impossible for him to get through. This led him to climb up a tree in order to catch even just a glimpse of Jesus.
The preaching was about how Zacchaeus turned his life around upon seeing Jesus and stood up to the crowd and declare that he would change his ways. When Jesus said that He would stay at Zacchaeus’ home- the crowd protested and said he was a sinner.
There were three main significant details about Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus that Pastor Joven talked about:
- Sight: Zacchaeus sight was impeded (literally) and figuratively by the crowd because he was too short physically and morally (because of the wrongs he did).
- Wealth: After Zacchaeus stood up to the crowd, he declared that he would give up his half his wealth to the poor and pay back four times what he has cheated from anyone.
- Stature: Despite his stature as a tax collector (having a bad reputation with others), Zacchaeus publicly acknowledged his wrongs and said that he would make them right (and he did).
All of these things displayed a process of transformation where Zacchaeus met Jesus and he was changed. He decided to completely turn away from his previous ways and live a new life- through salvation, and he was blessed.
To conclude the preaching, Pastor Joven said “Unless our salvation is worth everything, it is worth nothing.”
This was such a great and timely reminder for the new year.
We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be complacent, to be swayed by the world and its ways. Our salvation was such a precious gift and we should treat it as such; we were saved from our sins and should not turn back to them. When one encounters Jesus and opens their heart to Him- they are transformed. It happened for Zacchaeus and it continues to happen even today.
As followers of Jesus, we need to have the courage and boldness to stand up in the crowd and stand out, as Zacchaeus did, and as Jesus did.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand,
and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
– Matt. 5:14-16