Easier For A Camel Than Zacchaeus: A Sermon On Luke 19:1-10 -- By: Maarten Kuivenhoven

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 06:1 (Jan 2014)
Article: Easier For A Camel Than Zacchaeus: A Sermon On Luke 19:1-10
Author: Maarten Kuivenhoven

Easier For A Camel Than Zacchaeus: A Sermon On Luke 19:1-10

Maarten Kuivenhoven

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

—LUKE 19:1-10

When reading Scripture we can often pass over some very important details that the Gospels’ writers have included for us. In light of this particular passage, I want to set up the story of Zacchaeus for a few moments by following Jesus as He makes His way to Jericho. In Luke 18:18, we find Jesus interacting with a “certain ruler” who asked Jesus a question: “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Here is a seemingly righteous man asking Jesus a very important question. Jesus engages him by speaking about the law that he was obviously very familiar with, because he answers, “All these things have I kept from my youth up.” But when it came to selling everything and following Jesus, giving up the god he served, the ruler could

not. Jesus responds with amazement, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Jesus’ listeners are puzzled: “Who then can be saved?” If this man, who kept the law, cannot enter…. And then Jesus replies, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

Luke introduced this theme of impossibility previously in Luke 1, where the angel announces to Mary that she will give birth to Jesus. Mary asks, “How can these things be?” The angel replies, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” That is the theme that surrounds Jesus’ mini...

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