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Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. 37So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38And he cried out, saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 39Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 40So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41saying, "What do you want Me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." 42Then Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." 43And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." 6So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner." 8Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." 9And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Jesus had set His course for Jerusalem, in Luke 13:31-33 we read
On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, "Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You." 32And He said to them, "Go, tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.' 33Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.
Jesus had set His course for Jerusalem and neither Herod nor any other power in the universe could kill Him before He got to Jerusalem, for it was ordained that this was where the sacrifice of His body would be offered for the sins of the world.
And so He journeyed on.
In Ch 14:1 He entered the house of a ruler of the Pharisees:
In Ch 15:1 We read that tax collectors and sinners drew near to hear Him speak:
And the Pharisees accused Him of receiving sinners and even eating with them:
In Ch 17:11 He passes through Samaria and Galilee where He healed ten lepers:
In Ch 18:18 A rich young ruler approached Him and asked how He might inherit eternal life:
In vs 28 the apostle Peter tells Jesus that he and the other disciples had left everything to follow Him, to which Jesus replied: Luke 18:29-30
So He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life."
In Ch 18:35 as He approaches Jericho a blind beggar heard Jesus passing by and called out to Him for mercy; And Jesus asked him: Luke 18:41-43
saying, "What do you want Me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." 42Then Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." 43And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
On this occasion a miracle was performed:
And so there was no wonder that when He reached Jericho there were crowds there waiting to see Him, just to catch a glimpse of Him of whom so many things were being said:
And as He passed through Jericho we hear of a particular person called Zacchaeus, a despised tax collector, a chief tax collector in fact!
and he was rich.
Probably shunned by ordinary common people, and perhaps not many friends, apart from his fellow tax collectors:
Perhaps he had heard of how Jesus had previously spoken to and eaten with a group of tax collectors and sinners, and had been accused by the Pharisees for doing so:
Perhaps his heart was touched that a religious man would talk to such as he.
And because the crowd was large in number, and he was short in stature, he nipped ahead of the Saviour and climbed into a tree which he knew Jesus would pass under.
And low and behold when Jesus reached the place where the tree was, He looked up, that tells us something, Jesus had passed through multitudes of people, probably many others were in trees and on rooftops to see Him pass by.
But when He got to this tree with this man Zacchaeus in, the Lord who knows the hearts of all men stopped, and said;
"Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house."
You notice how Jesus didn’t say take your time Zacchaeus, I’ll wait for you, when you’re ready!
He said “make haste” “hurry up” “come now, when I call you”
“For today, I must stay at your house, I am coming to your house today”
And here we have a Biblical example of ‘Effectual calling’
When Jesus calls a sinner to repentance, when something in your heart calls you to Jesus, it is Jesus calling you.
Something divine is happening to you, you are being touched by the Divine Himself, it is not something that has come to you from your own mind, it has come to you from the Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Himself testifies of the Divine call and choosing.
John 6:44 (NKJV)
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:65 (NKJV)
And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
John 15:16 (NKJV)
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
And your response if it is to be effective in your heart, if it is a real call from the Saviour you must not delay, you must come now, when He calls. So that your call effects salvation in you.
You may hear the call through another Christian, or through a preacher of the Gospel, or an urgency in your heart that draws you to a body of Bible believing Christians, but you will know that you are being called.
Don’t stay in your tree, do what Zacchaeus did: 6So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.
Zacchaeus had room in his lonely heart for Jesus, yes he was rich, but his heart lacked spiritual joy, and he hurried down from that tree to take Jesus home with him.
And the usual taunts came, probably from people who thought they were good citizens, acceptable socially, and not at all like this filthy little rich collector of taxes Zacchaeus.
they all complained, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner."
These people couldn’t see Who Jesus really was, because they thought they had no need of Him, they could only see sin in others, but not in themselves.
Jesus looked into the tree, but not into the tree, what He was looking into was Zacchaeus’s heart.
And called “hurry down Zacchaeus I’m coming to your house”
And brethren here we have ‘effectual calling’ an instant effect in a sinful heart takes place, Jesus the Living Word become flesh entered the home of this chief tax collector, and the spoken Word that makes the sinner clean entered into the heart of Zacchaeus.
And instantly sanctification begins in his sinful heart.
For 8Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." 9And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Brethren, how effective has the call of God been in your heart, are you being transformed by the renewing of your mind, have you felt the struggle against sin in your heart that wasn’t there before when sin held you captive.
Are you overcoming that sin, has God moved into your heart by His Spirit.
Or has He called you, but you’re still in the tree.
Make haste to go to Him, don’t delay, He wants to come into your heart today!
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
2 Cor. 5:20-6:2
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
6:1We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you."
Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.
Make your call effectual NOW!
Prove yourself whether you are of the Lord? or of the world?
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
"Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
Will you confess Him now before men?
Or will you deny Him before men?
What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
since Jesus came into my heart.