Before We Wave The Palm.
Hebrews 11:6 (English Standard Version)
6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God(A) must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Before Jesus triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, there is a story in the book of Luke, chapter 19 verses 1-10 about a man name Zacchaeus. He was a short man who collected taxes for the Roman Government. Tax collectors were despised and not highly thought of back in his day. (kind of like today, lol. Please don’t audit me.) Tax collectors were hated because they not only collected the taxes due, but they could keep any extra they could extort from the people. So the people were very heavily overtaxed,
Back to the story. One day Jesus was travelling through Jericho, and I will let the Bible tell it from here:
Jesus and Zacchaeus
1(A) He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3And(B) he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into(C) 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(D) I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried and came down and(E) received him joyfully. 7And when they saw it, they all(F) 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(G) I give to the poor. And if I have(H) defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it(I) fourfold.” 9And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since(J) he also is a son of Abraham. 10For(K) the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
I love this story because it reminds me of myself and possibly you if you have accepted Christ. The next town Jesus enters is Jerusalem where he receives a hero’s welcome full of praise and palm presenting people. I can honestly say I can wave the palm branch, I can praise him because he came and sought me. Like Zaccheus I was spiritually short. I could try to reach for Jesus on my own, but I always fell short. I tried to seek him on my own, but to no avail. Like Zacchaeus, my sin kept me from reaching God. But the promise at the beginning of the blog is so powerful, God rewards who diligently seek him. Zacchaeus was rewarded by Jesus because he sought diligently after him.. God personally visited his home. Jesus did not say I want to stay in your home, Jesus did not say I want to pass by your house, he said: I must stay at your home today.” I am so glad Jesus comes to seek and save the lost, because he said: Greg, I must stay at your house today.” If you do not know him as Lord and Savior, he is telling you that He must stay in your house (heart) today.
Zacchaeus was so happy that Jesus came into his home, that he gave back all he had cheated. Jesus not only came into his home, he came into his heart in a strong way. It is not enough to say that Jesus is Lord. If he is truly Lord, like Zacchaeus a strong life change will occur. Jesus will give you a reason to wave the palm and say: ” Blessed is(AN) the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and(AO) glory in the highest!” .
As I wrote in my last blog, that many waved palms and praised Jesus on that triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but many of those who waved the palm branch on that Sunday, would wail for his punishment on Friday morning. God wants to give you a reason to wave the palm branch. Repent and accept Jesus into your heart. Like Zacchaeus and me, he will reward your search for him by coming to live in your heart.
As the song goes, “I once was lost, but now am found.”
Before you wave the palm, invite him into your heart.
until next time
Jesus is Lord
pastor greg t.