FRIEND OF SINNERS: FAST PASS
Luke 19:1-10: 1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner." 8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the LORD, "Look, LORD! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
Pastor Jesse started our new series Friend of Sinners. Our First lesson is entitled Fast Pass. He started off by telling us a story of when he went to Disney Land and how he was waiting in line for at least 30 minutes. While in the line, he noticed a family in front of him and the children kept leaving the line and would return a few minutes later. He didn't want to be "that person" who complained that they were cutting in line, but he was getting impatient and that's exactly what was going to happen if the line didn't start moving soon.
When we read the above verse, we see that Zaccheaus, who wasn't well liked, was trying to "cut in line" to see Jesus. What we must remember is Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to be crucified on the cross. Jesus went out of his way to stop in Jericho because he knew Zaccheaus was there and need him. The crowd of people who surrounded Jesus were getting in the way of the one person who truly needed him. The one person who Jesus called out by name.
The crowd of people surrounding Jesus is like the church today. There is so many things that get in the way i.e TV shows, books, radio, stores, etc. That this can stop people who really need Jesus from finding him. You don't have to watch the TV shows or listen to the radio or wear "Jesus Rocks" t-shirts. When people find God we usually feel small, and we don't necessary feel like we are welcomed or belong. But, get out of the way and let your passion for Him lead people to find Jesus. Pastor Jesse said the best advice he could give is to find out for yourself who Jesus is.
Going back to Pastor Jesse's story of waiting in line at Disney, while waiting in line the person he was with was given a Fast Pass. This allows you to cut the line and ride as many rides as you want. Jesus is our Fast Pass to heaven. He came for people who are they aware they needed a savior but not for people who felt ENTITLED to one. Zacchaeus was who Jesus said he was, a child of God, chosen not forsaken for him not against him. You are CHOSEN not forsaken, He is FOR you not against you, you are a child a God and you are who you Jesus says you are! You belong here!