Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of a tax collector named Zacchaeus who when he heard that Jesus was coming to his town “sought” to see Him. But because the crowd was so large, and he was so short, in order to make sure he saw Jesus, Zacchaeus climbed up into a sycamore tree to get a better view.
Even though Zacchaeus had already been labeled a “sinner”, Zacchaeus did not allow his sinful state to cause him to hide away in the midst of the crowd. Zacchaeus did not allow his deficiencies to prevent him from seeking Jesus out to make sure the he caught a glimpse of the Messiah.
For that reason, because of that EXTRA EFFORT, not only did Zacchaeus see Jesus that day, Jesus SAW Zacchaeus. That day Jesus dined in the house of the “sinner”, Zacchaeus and said to him:
“Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:9, 10 NKJV)
How many times have we knowingly transgressed against God and felt so ashamed of ourselves that we even found it difficult to come before Him in prayer to ask for forgiveness.
How many times has our prayer been along the lines of “Lord, I know I’m not supposed to do these things, yet I don’t know why I keep doing them” or “Lord, I know that you are disappointed in me because I claim to be your child, yet, keep sinning against you.”
Brethren, the purpose of this message is not to advocate that one not feel badly when they sin, on the contrary we should feel bad. We should feel terrible. Sin should grieve our hearts to the point that we are destabilized.
“And I said: O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.” (Ezra 9:6 NKJV)
The purpose of this message is to encourage you that when we do sin, we should not feel too ashamed to come back and ask for God’s forgiveness. The purpose of this message is to stress that when we sin, it becomes incumbent on us to SEEK JESUS OUT! Climb that sycamore tree, and wave our hands frantically to get His attention. The contrition that a repentant heart produces should cause us not to run from Jesus, but to run towards Him.
The Lord knows when we sin. It in not our acknowledgement of our sins that brings the sin to His attention. But it is our acknowledgement and remorse of our sins, that brings to our attention our dire need for Christ.
Satan, the accuser, will come with every weapon in his arsenal and every trick in his book and lie to us that we are not worthy of forgiveness. Satan will lie to us that we can never be delivered from sinful ways. It is his tactic to keep us enslaved in sin! That is why it is important for the believer to understand that no matter how badly we’ve messed up, Jesus will receive us if we present ourselves to Him in our imperfection, and desire to come back to Him. He is the only one that can free us from the bondage of sin, so Brethren, what ever shame we feel should not drive us from Jesus, it should drive us to Jesus!
The bible tells us in Hebrews 4:14-16:
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
May the Spirit of God bring us into the full knowledge to the redemptive power of the Blood of Jesus Christ, and how we can continue to abide in it. Amen.
Share your thoughts that you might encourage your brethren.
The handmaid at His feet.