Luke 18:35-19:10




Jericho was a very large city.

It was rich and beautiful.



It commanded the approach to Jerusalem.

Three times a year multitudes of Jews went to Jerusalem to worship.


Many passed through Jericho.

It was a good place to stop and rest.



One day Jesus was passing through Jericho.

This would be His last trip through that area.



He would soon make His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

Then, He would die.



As He neared Jericho, He approached a blind man sitting by the roadside      


The blind man heard a commotion.



He asked what it meant.

Someone said, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”



The blind man cried out, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Notice, that he didn't say, “Jesus of Nazareth.”



He said, “Jesus, thou Son of David.”

“Son of David” was one of the names of the Messiah.



This blind man was calling Jesus the Messiah.

Some who walked in front of Jesus rebuked the blind man.



Imagine that!

He was crying to Jesus for help.



And some of the followers of Jesus tried to silence him.

But this man was desperate.



Their efforts to silence him only caused him to cry louder.

“Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”



Jesus heard him.

He said, “bring him to me.”



He asked the blind man, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?”

Jesus didn't need to ask.



He already knew what the blind man wanted.

He's God.



He knows everything.

But even though He knew what the blind man wanted,



He still required the blind man to ask.

He knows our needs.


But the Bible says, “We have not because we ask not.”

God wants us to ask.



Asking shows our faith.

It shows we know Who supplies our needs.



So Jesus asked the blind man, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?”

“Lord,---that I may receive my sight.”



“Lord, I want to receive my sight.”

Jesus said, “Receive thy sight;”



“Thy faith hath saved thee.”

And all of a sudden the man received his sight.



All Jesus had to do was speak.

And the man was healed.



I don’t mean to minimize it.

But this was no big deal for Jesus.



He spoke and created the world.

God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.”



God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one    

place, and let the dry land appear.”

“And it was so.”



There’s power in the Word of God.

It can create and destroy,


And afflict.



So Jesus spoke.

And the blind man was healed.



He followed Jesus, glorifying God.

And those who saw it praised God.



That's the only proper response to answered prayer.

Follow Jesus.



Give Him glory and praise.

Anyway, Jesus was passing through Jericho.



And He encountered a second man;

A man named Zacchaeus.



He was one of the chief publicans (or chief tax collectors).

We recall that the Romans controlled the world when Jesus was born.



Just before Jesus was born, Caesar Augustus decreed all the world should be         


That's why Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem.



They went to register for a census.

And to pay their taxes.



Our text takes place about 33 years later.

The tax structure had grown.

Every city had at least one tax collector.

Some cities had several.



Tax collectors bought territories or franchises.

A tax collector would figure how much he could collect in a certain area.



He would pay the Romans a fee for the right to collect there.

If he collected more than he paid, he made a profit.



If he collected less than he paid, he lost money.

None of them lost money.



Okay, we said Jericho was rich and beautiful.

It was Israel's second largest city during the earthly life of Jesus;



Prime territory for tax collectors.

It had several.



Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector;

The one in charge of all the tax collectors in the area;



The one who stood to gain the most.

And he did.



He was rich.

That's important.



Some think Jesus came to save the poor.

But He came to save everybody.


The problem is that not many of the rich respond to Jesus the way the poor  


It's hard for them to humble themselves and serve God.



So the rich can be saved.

But it's rare when they are.



If we have a comfortable living,

Our comfortable living can be a threat to us.



It can cause us to think we are self-sufficient.

It can keep us from depending upon God.



Anyway, Zacchaeus was a publican.

And because of that, the Jews treated him like he was a traitor.



They resented the fact that he collected money for the government of Rome.

But Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus.



And there was a problem.

Jesus had just healed the blind man.



He was surrounded by a crowd of people.

Zacchaeus was short.



He couldn't see over the crowd.

He ran and climbed a sycamore tree.



That's very strange.

It was rare for a Jew to run in public.

There may have been more.

But I can think of only two Jews who did that.



One is the loving father in the parable of the prodigal son.

He saw his son a long way off.



His son was coming home.

The father ran;



Flung his arms around his son's neck;

Kissed him tenderly.



The other man was Zacchaeus.

He ran and climbed a sycamore tree.



He could have been off trying to collect more taxes.

He could have been off spending some of what he already had.



But the most important thing in this rich man's life was not work,

Not pleasure.



The most important thing in this rich man's life was to see Jesus.

He believed he could do it.



So he ran and climbed a sycamore tree.

Jesus came by.



He looked up.

He knew what was going on.


He even knew who Zacchaeus was.

He called him by name,



“Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down;”

“For today I must abide at thy house.”



Zacchaeus was wealthy,

A man of authority and position.



But he was empty;




A social outcast.

Some people think money will make them happy.



But it doesn't.

Many things are more important than money.



“Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down;”

“For today I must abide at your house.”



This brought about two very different responses.

The first response came from Zacchaeus.



He rejoiced.

Jesus said make haste.



And he made haste.

Jesus said come down.


And he came down.

The second response came from those who followed Jesus.



This was the number one scandal in Jericho.

“They all murmured, saying, that He was gone to be a guest with a man that  

is a sinner.”



It's almost certain that none of these people would do anything for Zacchaeus.

Instead of loving their neighbor as they should, they shunned him.



Instead of praying as they should, they tried to keep him in his place.            

They talked about him;



Criticized him;                

Refused to associate with him.           



And they wanted Jesus to do the same thing.         

They failed to consider the affect that Jesus could have on a person.



I want to ask a serious question.

If Jesus came to this community, where do you think He would go?



The truth is we don't know where He would go.

But we can speculate.



He said, “The sick need a physician.”

My guess would be that He would go to the ignored people of this      





Not this Church.

But those who need the help of this Church.




Zacchaeus was a changed man.



He set out to show it;

Not to tell people he had changed;



But to show people he had changed.

First, he said, “Half of my goods I give to the poor.”



Most of us do good to give ten percent of our present earnings.

But the proof of salvation is in the living.



Jesus said, “By their fruit ye shall know them.”

Zacchaeus said, “I’m going to give away half of what I have.”



Saved people are changed people.

If our lives have not changed since we met Jesus, we should ask if we have   

really met Jesus.



Next, Zacchaeus said, “If I have taken anything from any man by false          

accusation, I restore him fourfold.”

He was prepared to make restitution out of the other half;



To go the extra mile;

To give back four dollars for every dollar he took.




That was much more than the law required:

Half of all he had to the poor,



Four dollars for every dollar out of the other half.

Jesus said, “This day is salvation come to this house.”



This was the day Zacchaeus got saved.

Now, I want to back up and quickly point out seven truths.



1st---We need to be careful about criticizing people.

It was the followers of Jesus who tried to silence the blind man;



The followers of Jesus who criticized Him for fellowshipping with Zacchaeus.

If Jesus had not overruled His followers, a blind man would have remained   




A rich man would not have given to the poor,

And two people would not have been saved.



2nd---We can be saved no matter how much or how little we have.

The blind man had nothing.



Zacchaeus had everything.

Both were saved.



3rd---No one knows when they will have their last chance to be saved.

Jesus was passing through Jericho for the last time.





If the blind man hadn't cried out when he did, Jesus would have soon been   


If Zacchaeus hadn't come dawn when he did, Jesus would have soon been   




These people would have been left behind.

Never put off a decision.



You never know when you've had your last chance.

4th---Satan puts up road blocks.



When the blind man cried out the followers of Jesus tried to silence him.

When Zacchaeus came out of the tree, they criticized Jesus.



Recognize that Satan doesn't want you to be saved.

Determine in your heart that you won't let him stop you.



5th---Great decisions are often the result of a flash of thought.

A flash of thought told the blind man to speak up and he did.



A flash of thought told Zacchaeus to climb a tree and he did.

When listening to the preacher many people have a flash of thought to

          respond to the invitation.



Their quick decision to do it today could be the difference between eternal    

life and eternal damnation.

When God speaks to us we should determine to act and not change our       





6th---God is never too busy to meet our needs.

When Jesus went to Jericho, He was on His way to Jerusalem and the cross.



He was on a mission for the whole world.

But He was not too busy to stop and heal one blind man,



Not too busy to visit one miserable rich man.

And if we will take one step toward Jesus, we will find that He's not too busy         

to meet our needs.



7th---Here is the reason many are lost.

Jesus told the blind man to come to Him.



He did.

And was saved.



Jesus told Zacchaeus to come down.

He did.



And was saved.

Many are asked to come to Jesus.



But they don't do it.

Some say, “Not today!”



“Maybe later.”

They gamble with the most valuable thing they have: their soul.



Have you received Jesus as your Saviour?

Will you do it today?

Don't let anything keep you away.

Open your heart to Jesus.



And He will meet your needs.