This sermon was based on Luke 18:35-19:10.
Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar
35As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41″What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Jesus and Zacchaeus
1He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus Had Become Very Popular
- There was a big crowd of people that had come out of Jericho to accompany him into the city.
- This was a way in that culture of honouring an important visitor.
Jesus and the Blind Beggar
- The man called out to Jesus and referred to him as the Son of David and asked for mercy.
- Jesus asked for the man to be brought to him and asked him what he wanted – this is an important question. Being healed would probably mean he lost his begging livelihood. We shouldn’t presume to know what people want.
- The man was healed and he followed Jesus – both he and the crowd praised God.
Jesus and the Rich Tax Collector
- The tax collector was a hated man – a collaborator with the Romans who had made himself rich at the expense of his fellow Jews.
- He ran towards Jesus (not a dignified thing to do in that culture), didn’t push through the crowd (possibly for fear of being attacked) and climbed a sycamore tree.
- Jesus knew his name and honoured and dignified him by staying at his house.
- Zacchaeus responded by giving half of his wealth to the poor and reimbursing anybody he had cheated four times over.