Zacchaeus, The Man Who Was Lost


Date: 19 February, 2017

Text: Luke 19

Title:  Zacchaeus, The Man Who Was Lost






ill. Waiting for several hours at airport in Tel Aviv for the late group - finding Kim - seeing many orthodox Jews - seeing one little man with the big curls and hat and wanting to say, "What doest thou hear Zaccheaus."


children's song "Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he, he climbed up in the sychamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see."

exp. Traditional Christian song - no author known - but I think he may have been Scottish....


 ill. Being told on our tour that the average height of Jewish men at the time of Jesus was about 5 feet tall. (Jesus was probably somewhere in that height range.)


Zacchaeus must have been a wee, wee, little man IN STATURE. You may think that would make him insignificant BUT NOT TO THE LORD. Jesus knew that that wee little man was LOST!


He tells the crowd who marveled that he came to the home of Zaccheaus - "10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."


def. I don't know about you but - being lost is to me one of the most frustrating feelings. If you know where you are - you can get to where you want to go - but not if your are lost. 

If you know wher eyou are - you can get to where you NEED to go - but not if you are lost.



Are you lost today? YOU CAN BE FOUND. Jesus wants to find you - and you to find Him.


BELIEVERS - there are lost people - (Like Zacchaeus) whom God wants us to find. Who have you found for the Lord?


I. Jesus and Zacchaeus were on two different paths in life.

 ill. Paths in life converge at times - Colorado Springs - Cracker Barrel Restaraunt.

exp. When Jesus crosses paths with an unbeliever - we call that a divine appointment. ACCIDENTS DON'T HAPPEN WITH JESUS - THEY ARE FOR A PURPOSE.

A. Jesus is just passing through Jericho.

1  And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

exp. According to the Believer's Bible commentary - this is our Lord's third and final trip through Jericho. He is on his way to a triumphal entry into Jerusalem and on His way to the cross. He could have had HIS BUSINESS on his mind - but He had God's business on His mind.

 question: When is the last time  you went out of your way to give someone the Gospel because you felt that God wanted you to do so?

ill D. L. Moody made an covenant with God that he would witness for Christ to at least one person each day. One night, about ten o’clock, he realized that he had not yet witnessed; so he went out in to the street and spoke to a man standing by a lamppost, asking him, “Are you a Christian?” The man flew into a violent rage and threatened to knock Moody into the gutter.

Later, that same man went to an elder in the church and complained that Moody was “doing more harm in Chicago than ten men were doing good.” The elder begged Moody to temper his zeal with knowledge. Three months later, Moody was awakened at the YMCA by a man knocking at the door. It was the man he had witnessed to. “I want to talk to you about my soul,” he said to Moody. He apologized for the way he had treated Moody and said that he had had no peace ever since that night on Lake Street when Moody witnessed to him. Moody led the man to Christ and he became a zealous worker in the Sunday school.

app. If you aren't sensitive to the leading of God's Spirit - you are going to miss the opportunity to meet men like Zacchaeus.

B. Zacchaeus is a big man in Jericho.

2  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus,

exp. Zacchaeus isn't big in stature - BUT....

A. He has a big position.

which was the chief among the publicans,

exp. He wasn't like our publicans who steel money from people who are lusting for drink or out of their mind with drink. These men callled Publicans stole by taking more taxes than they were supposed to take. (They were tax collectors.)

 note: Zacchaeus wasn't just a publican - he was the leader of the publicans. He probably took a cut from all the other thieves. He was chief of thieves and he had power. He would no doubt accept bribes. He used his power to unjustly increase his wealth!

He is breaking one of the Ten Commandments - Exo 20:15  Thou shalt not steal.

 ill. Asking teens at park - "Name one sin that is good and doesn't hurt." One girl said, "Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor (like Robinhood)." I reached out my hand and said, "Then you won't mind if I take your necklace."  Nicodemus wasn't Robin Hood.

app. Nicodemus justified his use of His power - but he was wrong. His heart should have condemned him - but at this point it probably didn't. After all - he was doing very well for himself.

B. He has a big purse.

and he was rich.

exp. Nicodemus is not just a great sinner - that would be a big hurdle to him ever converting to a follower of Christ. BUT, on top of that his sin has made him very wealthy and he loves his riches.

1Ti 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

 ill. It is regrettable that so many people in our community won the postcode lottery - it is going to cause heartache - 17 year old Girl suing online gambling site because she won £1,000,000 pounds and she says it has wrecked her life.


Matthew 19:24  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

25  When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

 app. Sadly - people in our day are not just GREAT SINNERS - they are RICH IN THIS WORLD'S TREASURE. They don't see it as a problem AFTER ALL THEY HAVE EVERYTHING - but in eternity they will have nothing.

Mat 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

C. He has a big problem.

3  And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

exp. I believe the stature of Zaccheaus is important to our story to emphasize man's position away from Christ. He had loads of money and power - but it didn't help him get any closer to Christ.

That realization began a spiritual journey in the life of Zacchaeus.

 ill. The popular advert in the States "Got milk?" Good advert making you realize what perhaps you were lacking.

 app. Zacchaeus had everything, but he had never seen Jesus. His spiritual curiosity has been stirred and he feels that he must SEE JESUS.


II. Zacchaeus was determined to see Jesus.

exp. This story is excellent for children because it contains some fun things to imagine.

A. He ran.

4  And he ran before, 

exp. Can you see him hiking up the folds of his robe and his sandals pounding the ground? 

note; People may have thought that he was being chased by a mob - but he didn't care. 

note: It was an effort - but he didn't care.


exp. He had to get ahead of the crowd (get some high ground) to see Jesus. 


B. He climbed.

and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: 

exp. Perhaps this was more normal than in our day - but perhaps not. 

note: Some may have made fun of the short little man who had to climb a tree to see Jesus but Zacchaeus didn't care.

 question: I wonder how many people never see Jesus - because they care too much about WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF THEIR DESIRE TO SEE JESUS.

 Ill. Many people choke to death - because when they begin to choke they go to another room instead of making it obvious that THEY NEED HELP. They die because of pride or an unwillingness to disturb others.

 app. Don't let that be you! Get the help you need. Seek Jesus without care of what others seek!

C. He waited.

for he was to pass that way.

note: Jesus may not have arrived right away. It may have been a lengthy wait. He could have worried that Jesus had gone another route - but he stayed in that tree to see Jesus.

 question: I wonder again how many have not found Christ - becuase HE DIDN'T SHOW UP ON THEIR TIMETABLE. 

But the Saviour was coming!


III. Jesus had a divine appointment with Zaccheaus.

Jer 29:13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

ill. At times in Jesus ministry - he wanted seclusion - Mar 7:24  And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. (Because God's Word is true - if you seek JESUS you find JESUS! OR HE FINDS YOU.)

A. Jesus came.

5  And when Jesus came to the place, 

exp. Zaccheus thought he had found Jesus - but Jesus found HIM. Jesus is on a long journey - but Zacchaeus is in a specific place and Jesus knows he is there.

 ill. Nathanael - Joh 1:48  Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

exp. I believe Nathanael was praying and seeking God under that fig tree. It was something that only he and Jesus knew about.

 app. Have you ever had God do something which made you know that He knew where you were?

B. Jesus sought.

he looked up, 

exp. Zacchaeus may not have expected to meet the Lord's eyes - but the Saviour specifically SOUGHT HIM with His eyes.

 app. Remember Jesus says that he has come to "SEEK" and to save. He won't have to searc very hard....

C. Jesus found.

and saw him, 

exp. I wonder how Zacchaeus looked into the eyes of the incarnate God. He would have felt that those eyes could see into his very soul. 

 ill. I love what the word of God tells us about that look of Jesus as he gazed at another rich young man - Mar 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

app. Do you feel the eyes of Christ upon you today - beholding you? He knows you as he knew Zacchaeus....

D. Jesus called. (him by name)

and said unto him, Zacchaeus,

exp. I love the times in the Word of God where people accept as normal something that is incredibly unusual.

 ill. Balaam talking to his donkey as if he had had many conversations in the past.

 ill. Tonight - Mary speaking with the angels in the tomb.

 exp. Zacchaeus doesn't appear startled that the Lord has just called him by name. Perhaps he feels an immediate relationship with the Lord as if there is no reason why Jesus should not know Him.

app. Jesus knows you today - better than you know yourself. He not only knows you - but he loves you and AS HE CALLS YOU BY NAME - HE GIVES YOU THE SAME COMMAND.

E. Jesus commanded.

make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

exp. No where else in Scripture does Jesus demand entry into someone's home. But, again - I believe this story so pictures salvation that the picture would be incomplete without this command.

 ill. Pastor Barker - Montauk Bible study - Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

app. Jesus has not asked you to get saved - He demands it. 

Act 17:30  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Rom 10:16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

note: Praise God - Zachaeus was not disobedient to the command.


IV. Zachaeus was delighted to receive Jesus.

6  And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

exp. Having seen the loving eyes of Jesus and heard his command - he obeyed immediately.

 ill. Praise God for sudden conversions! 

Paul -  Galatians 1:15  But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,

16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

ill. Church of Scotland minister - I don't believe in sudden conversion but gradual overtime....

 app. Biblical conversion is not gradual - it is sudden and complete!

A. Despite what others knew of his past.

7  And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

exp. Oh the depraved heart of the self righteous. They get upset when God works in the lives of the unreligious!

 app. Don't let the murmurs of others - keep you from having Jesus come into your home.

B. Despite what he knew of his past.

8  And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

exp. Zacchaeus was a thief. He was guilty of thievery - the remedy - give to the poor and restore the money (above and beyond what was required by law.)

Eph 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

app. Salvation - God's forgiveness does not mean that we don't have to get restitution for our sin against men. If we are truly sorry for our sin before a Holy God - we will get that sin right with man where it is owed.


Conclusion - Zachaeus was lost - but now he is found.

Amazing Grace - Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.


9  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.






Don't miss your divine appointment with Jesus.

Don't let anything keep you from getting to that place. 

Look into the eyes of the Saviour and heed his command.



Believers - we are on the same mission as our Lord. Are you seeking divine appointments for Jesus? Are you seeking the lost that need to be found?