Dr. John Sung
HOW ZACCHAEUS GOT SAVED
Vs. 1 reads, “And Jesus entered Jericho and while passing through....” This was Jesus' last visit to Jericho. What a rare occasion! So the Bible particularly records the action of “His passing through” (Chinese Transi.). How marvellous!
Should a merchant pay a visit to Amoy, he would look for the main street and the biggest building. Should a student come to Amoy, he would not miss a visit to Amoy University. Should a cinema fan be in Amoy, he would enter the cinema hall. But as for Jesus, He visited Jericho not to sightsee ... but to save sinners. Beloved brothers and sisters, Jesus is here tonight. If you are a sinner, He is looking for you. If you are a sinner, Jesus wants to save you. This is a rare chance. You have been looking for salvation for years without finding it. May everyone find it tonight.
Vs. 2. “A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.” Whom did Jesus seek when He came to Jericho? To seek His greatest treasure. Here it says, “A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus.” Zacchaeus means “Pure”. But, that might just be an empty name! Maybe there are some in the audience called Thian Teck, i.e. “Heavenly Virtue” or Sian Teck, i.e., “Benign Virtue”. Is that an empty name too? Zacchaeus means “Pure”. He is a big shot, and a capitalist, but a sinner through and through. However, a rich man can also be saved. Jesus once said, “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.” Let me tell you, a rich man can also be saved. Zacchaeus' name is now written in heaven! Zacchaeus had money, fame, power, everything: But what he lacked was peace. He extorted from his own people and gave the money to Rome. He was a traitor. The Jews hated him. But Zacchaeus paid no attention to the peoples' boos and hatred. He was now looking for Jesus, and he was happy in his search.
Vs. 3. “He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.” Here it says, Many were following Jesus. Yes, wherever Jesus goes, many will follow Him. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. He wanted Jesus to give him peace. Perhaps Zacchaeus had visited the temple to call on the idols, "O Idols, save me, save mel" But he got no eace. He ran out to see Jesus, not to see the crowd, but to see Jesus. Tonight let us not look to anyone at all. Let us see Jesus.
Zacchaeus a rich man was fat and short. So he could not see Jesus. Beloved brothers and sisters, there're many outside the Church who can't see Jesus, because we are blocking their way!
No matter what, Zacchaeus must see Jesus. Though a short fellow, he had found a sycamore tree. He climbed up the tree, saying to himself, "Jesus is sure to pass this way." All the people jeered. He didn'a care. He forgot his status. He realised he was a sinner. He wanted to see what Jesus was like.
I have been to many places. I've met quite a few big officials who dared not come openly to hear me. One wrote me, "Mr. Sung, please come to my house for dinner. I'd like to hear you preach." But, lookl Here is Zacchaeus on the tree waiting to see Jesus.
Vs. 4. "So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus.…” Zacchaeus did not take his sweet time. He ran. He ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree.
Vs. 5. "When Jesus reached the spot he looked up, and said to him, Zacchaeus come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." These few words paint a picture of Jesus' love. Jesus came, step by step. He came to where Zacchaeus was. He looked at him with loving face. Amidst thousands, Jesus looked at no one, but Zacchaeus. Jesus comes to save sinners!
As Jesus looked up, he said, "Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus! My beloved Zacchaeus!" Zacchaeus had never seen anyone before who looked so kindly to him. Never heard any calling so gently to him. Though Zacchaeus was a sinner, Jesus loved him.
Jesus said, "Come down quick! Zacchaeus, come down quick! Today I must be at your house." Not tomorrow, not day after tomorrow, but today. I want to stay at your house. Zacchaeus' house was unclean, yet Jesus wanted to go to his house. Beloved brothers and sisters, though our hearts are unclean Jesus wants to come in to stay.
One day, I was at a certain place preaching.A woman said to me, "Mr. Sung, though I am blind, I had sinned. I had illicit intercourse and gave birth. I killed the baby. Can Jesus save a person like me?" I said, "Sister, if you repent, Jesus will save you."
Once, I came to Kiangsi. There were two sisters, very pitiful. They were the only survivors of a family killed by bandits. They were school girls, but after this they sold their bodies to become prostitutes. One sister could not go on in this and became crazy. After this a military officer helped the other to learn nursing. The girl came to hear me. Being convicted she asked me, "Mr. Sung, will Jesus save a girl like me?" I said, "Sister, if you repent, Jesus will save you!"
I remember a Customs Officer who repented after hearing me for the first time. But he didn't come the next day. He said, "I'm still young. If I listen to the Gospel I can't womanise nor gamble. It won't be too late to hear the Gospel before I die."
Vs. 6. "Zacchaeus came down at once and welcomed Jesus." Beloved brothers and sisters, Look! Many believers wear a sad countenance. Not Zacchaeus. He is very happy.
Vs. 7. "All the people saw this and began to mutter, He has gone to be the guest of a sinner." When the crowd saw Jesus go into Zacchaeus' house they began to murmur. They said, "Zacchaeus is a sinner. Why did Jesus go to his house? Many places there are in Jericho, why shoul,,d Jesus choose to go to Zacchaeus' house?" Many don't know Jesus' heart. Many in the Church don't know Jesus' heart. 0, is not Jesus come to save sinners?
Vs. 8. "Zacchaeus said to the Lord, Look, Lordl Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor." If he had $10,000 then it would be $5,000 for charity. That's no easy matter! Zacchaeus promised the Lord there and then, not afterwards. "Let all the poor come. I'll give them half of my property." For having found Jesus he won't mind being penniless. Zacchaeus also said, "If I have cheated anybody, I will pay back four times." O! To pay back four times is no easy matter!
In five minutes after hearing the Gospel, Zacchaeus was saved. On the tree. This covetous fellow got saved, on the tree.
Vs. 9. Jesus said, "Truly Salvation has come to this house." Not tomorrow, but today, salvation comes to this house. Before Jesus came into Zacchaeus' house, Zacchaeus' whole house was saved. Jesus saved not only Zacchaeus but his whole family. O! ZacchaeLIS the sinner was changed, in less than five minutes, he was changed. But, how sad it is that many "believers" in the Church for years. are not saved.
Vs. 10. "The Son of Man came to seek what was lost." Jesus said, "Zacchaeus, I come to save you. For the last 30 years what sorrows have I tasted for you. Not for any others, but to save you."
Beloved brothers and sisters! Let me give you my testimony. I am a sinner of sinners. My father was a pastor. Our family all were believers. I was baptised at birth. I prayed. I read the Bible. But not in my heart. At 18, 1 went to America. I forgot the Lord. I thought I was clever and learned. I got everything, but no peace. . I wanted to commit suicide many times. I was looked upon as a scholar, very happy. But they didn't know my sorrows. At first I thought Jesus was a mere man, not the Saviour. Praise the Lord! It was Feb. 10, 1927. That night, Jesus found me in America. Jesus found me in Room 405 of an atheistic seminary. That night the Holy Spirit shone into me. I wept. lt gave me relief. Midnight, I saw a light. In the light Jesus said to me, "Littfe child! I died for your sins." At this, I was completely changed.
Beloved brothers and sisters, How I wish that the Jesus who saved me save you today. Jesus came into this world. He left His glory in heaven-for you and for me. Though our sins be as the deepest sea and higher than the mountain, Jesus can change us, save us. May Jesus redeem you by His precious blood.