Confidence in Christ
I. A familiar THEME when it comes to JESUS. (Lk. 18:35-19:10)
A. The STORY of an OUTCAST. (v.1-2)
B. A JEW but not in REALITY. (v.2)
C. A DESIRE to SEE Jesus. (v.3-4)
Jesus seems to always stir up emotion, especially when he treats the social outcasts the same way He would treat those at the top of the social ladder. Even to acknowledge Zacchaeus would be a controversial move, but to go to his house, to hang out with his friends, that’s stepping over the line.
1. Kid’s Question: Have you ever felt like an outcast? What was that like?
2. Spend some time thinking about what it would have been like to be Zacchaeus on that specific day. In what ways can you identify with him?
II. The RESPONSE of JESUS. (v.5-10)
A. ACCEPTANCE – The outcast is SEEN and KNOWN. (v.5)
B. This THREATENS Jesus’s REPUTATION… (v.7)
C. …But FLOWS out of His IDENTITY. (v.10; Lk. 4:18-19)
I love what we see of Jesus is this story. While it seems everyone there is focused on Him, He is singularly focused on the one person the crowds would like to ignore. He does this because He is very clear on what He is all about.
3. If this was the only incident you had to learn about Jesus, what would you discern from this interaction and why?
4. Think of an equivalent action today to Jesus’ eating with Zacchaeus at his house. How willing would you be to do that? What might hold you back?
III. The IMPACT of the RESPONSE. (v.6-10)
A. Both JOY and OBEDIENCE. (v.6)
B. A CONFIDENCE that inspires CHANGE. (v.8)
Imagine what Zacchaeus might have been thinking or feeling as he walked/ran to the sycamore tree that day. I’m sure he was a mix of both excitement and apprehension. Yet what happened to bring him down from the tree and back to his house was something he could have never dreamed was possible.
5. When have you had an experience that changed your life trajectory and your actions? What was that like?
6. What does confidence in Jesus look like in your life? How can you tell if you confidence in Jesus is lacking?
IV. As we JOURNEY with JESUS. (Matt. 9:9)
A. We all have our MOMENT in the TREE. (v.4-5; Mark 8:29)
B. Jesus SEES us, KNOWS us, and CALLS us. (v.5; Jn. 2:24-25; Rom. 5:8)
C. His acceptance CULTIVATES continual RESPONSE. (v.8; Titus 2:11-12; Eph.2:10)
D. Growing in our CONFIDENCE in CHRIST. (v.1-10; Ps. 63:1-3,8)
Last week we saw that this pathway of following Jesus is a pathway of Grace. But it’s more than just a concept. This is a pathway that is made for walking. And for all of us there comes a time to start the journey.
7. When was your “moment in the tree”? What was that like? How do you feel when you look back on it now.
8. On a scale of 1-10, how aware are you of God’s acceptance of you as you are? How does that impact your day to day life?