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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

Behold A Man - October 21, 2007


Sermon of the Week #200742 – October 21, 2007

And He entered and was passing through Jericho and behold a man called by the name Zacchaeus, and he was a chief publican, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who He was, and could not for the crowd because he was little of stature. And he ran on before and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him for He was to pass that way.

Now it may seem strange that Jesus would even go to Jericho. There is no indication that He had gone there before, and after He went there on His way to the cross, He never went back after the resurrection, because Jericho was a city that was under a curse. After Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down, He said in Joshua 6:26, “Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up, and buildeth the city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he sit up the gates of it.” Then about five hundred years later in 1st Kings 16:34, the prophecy was fulfilled.

But on second thought we can understand why Jesus went to a city under a curse. In Genesis 3:14-15, almighty God put a curse on the serpent, because of that debacle in the Garden of Eden. God said unto the serpent, “Because thou hast done this, thou are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Then God said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life until thou returnest unto the ground; for out of it thou was taken: for dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Because of sin, Adam and Eve and the whole human race were put under the curse of death.

The Devil, being under a curse, seems to be running the show; just a look at the news is sufficient proof. Evidently the curse will last until the Judgment Day because in Matthew 25:41, Jesus will say to all the disciples of the Devil, “Depart from me ye cursed into the eternal fire which is prepared for the Devil, and his angels.”

And that is why Jesus came into the world that was under the curse of sin and death. He came to seek, to save, and redeem that which was lost, and that is why He could enter into the accursed city Jericho. But some might wonder why Zacchaeus went to all the trouble to run and climb a tree. What a spectacle! No doubt the crowd chanted, “Behold he joggeth.” Why did he not ask someone in the crowd what they thought about Jesus, and take their word for it. Zacchaeus was a man who was not satisfied with second-hand information on this important matter. He wanted to see first hand.

Were you satisfied with second-hand information about your knowledge of Jesus and His Word? Did you take some preacher’s word for it, or do you know what the Bible says from first-hand experience? Did you run on ahead and climb the sycamore tree? I want to see Jesus, who He is, and see for myself. In the book of Acts there is a good example for us regarding a hand-me-down religion. Paul and Silas preached in the city of Berea in Acts 17 and it is said of the Bereans, “They searched the scriptures daily whether these things were so.” These people checked the scripture to verify the words of Paul. A good motto for any of us regarding knowledge of the Word of God is in the words of a former President, “Trust, but verify.” Personally, I don’t want a hand-me-down religion. Behold a man.


Behold a short man. Zacchaeus sought to see Jesus who He was, and could not for the crowd, because he was little of stature, he was a short man. Zacchaeus was not only a short man physically, but he was a short man spiritually. Paul referred to him and to us also in the book of Romans when he said, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” No one is tall enough to see Jesus in the crowd. Behold a man-a short man. Now Jesus looked up and saw him up in the tree, and told him to come down, because there is no way anyone can see Jesus from the top of a sycamore tree. The only way to see Jesus as He is, is at the bottom of the tree looking up, and seeing Jesus hanging on the tree.

Peter said of Jesus in his first epistle 2:24, “He who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes we are healed.”

So we read in Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Jesus hanging on the tree was the theme of much of the preaching of both Peter and Paul. Peter accused the High Priest, and his crew in Acts five, “God raised up Jesus whom ye slew hanging him on a tree; him did God exalt with his right hand to be a prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.”

This short man Zacchaeus was not alone in not being able to see Jesus in the crowd; no one is tall enough to see Jesus in the crowd. Some cannot see Jesus because of a crowd of preachers. Many a person could see how to get into Christ, but their preacher stands in the way. A preacher can block the view by lack of understanding about what it takes to attain salvation. Some cannot see Jesus, because of a crowd of hypocrites. Somehow when they think of the Lord they put themselves right behind a hypocrite, and let him block out Jesus. Others cannot see Jesus because of a crowd made up of their friends. The lifestyle of some friendships is enough to block out the view of Jesus as He passes through their Jericho; and oddly enough sometimes parents can blot out the view of Jesus. I have known many a person who cannot see Jesus because they hide behind the tombstones of their parent’s view of salvation.

That crowd may blot out your view of Jesus as the divine virgin-born Son of God. That crowd may blot out your view of Jesus, and His resurrection as the first-born from the dead. That crowd may blot out the view that Jesus started the church on the Day of Pentecost, and that the terms of pardon given that day were for their children, and all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord shall call unto Him. All is still binding to this day. Behold a man.


And now, not only was he a short man, he was also a wise man; behold a wise man. Zacchaeus could have said, “I wanted to see Jesus but the crowd was in my way, and under the circumstances it was not my fault.” He was not going to let that crowd cheat him out of what became the greatest moment in his life. Zacchaeus was not a man who blamed circumstances; he ran and climbed the sycamore tree, and got on top of the circumstances.

When Jesus saw Zacchaeus perched up in the tree, He said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must abide at thy house.” Zacchaeus came down, and received Him joyfully.

This was a wise decision; he wanted to see Jesus who He was, but he found out he could not really see Jesus who He was, while perched up in the top of a sycamore tree. Jesus said, “Come down,” and he came down.

No one can find out about Jesus while perched up in the tree of good works. Come on down. The scripture provides a good example of how good works is not enough in Acts ten. There was a Gentile centurion, who is described as a devout man, who feared God with all his house; he gave much alms to the people and prayed to God always, yet he was not good enough for salvation because an angel appeared to him, and directed him to send for Simon Peter, and he would be told what to do to be saved. This man was devout, feared God, prayed always, gave much money, and yet God said he was not good enough; he had no hope of Heaven.

Notice that Jesus called him by name. He seemed to know who he was. This is normal procedure for the Lord. He one time said that the Good Shepherd knoweth His sheep, and calleth His sheep by name. The Lord knoweth them that are His. Come on down. Zacchaeus made haste and came down. He called him by name. “Come on down,” was a personal message to Zacchaeus; however every time the Word of God is preached, there is a personal call in the message for one reason or another. Come on down.

The invitation continues today. Jesus said, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Come on down. He that cometh unto Me, I will in now wise cast out. Come on down. The Spirit and the bride say come. Come on down. Behold I come quickly. Come on down. He calls us through faithful gospel preaching. Come on down. He calls us now through the working of our conscience. Come on down. He calls us through the providence of sickness, or accident, or the loss of a loved one. Come on down. Zacchaeus made haste and came down and received Him joyfully. He made a wise decision. Come on down. Don’t be left up a tree on the Judgment Day.

Once to every man a nation comes the moment to decide.

In the strife of good, or falsehood for the good, or evil side.

Some great cause, God’s great Messiah offers each the bloom or blight

And that choice goes on for ever twix that darkness and that light.

Come on down. Behold a man.


Behold a generous man. Zacchaeus stood before the Lord, and when he stood before the Lord, we are reminded of what John said in his first epistle in the third chapter regarding the Lord’s return. He said, “We shall be made like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” That statement is also true while we are here on earth. Zaccheaus stood before the Lord, and saw Him as He is, and wanted to be like Him. Many people today see a ballplayer as he is, and want to be like him. They may see a movie star as he is, and want to be made like him. The greatest model, for life for us today, is Jesus. Zacchaeus saw Jesus as He was, and wanted to be like Him. That is why he said, “Behold, I give half of my goods to the poor, and restore fourfold.” We need to look at Jesus as the scripture reveals Him, and to be like Him as we hear Him giving the Great Commission to the Apostles, with the orders to preach the gospel to every creature. Be like Jesus, as you see Him, as He preached the Sermon on the Mount. See Him as He is, and try to be like Him. Zacchaeus was a generous man, because he wanted to be like Jesus. Not long before this, the rich young ruler had come to Jesus, and the Lord told him to go sell everything he had, and give to the poor. He went away sorrowful for he was one that had great possessions.

As the rich young ruler walked sorrowfully away, Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Zacchaeus was the exception, he was a rich man who went through the eye of the needle, because Jesus said, “With God, all things are possible.” The story of Zacchaeus is the climax of the rich young ruler story. Zacchaeus said, “Lord, I will give you fifty percent.” The Lord said, “Sounds like a good deal, I’ll take it.” Money was the problem with the rich young ruler, but this was not the problem with Zacchaeus. He was a generous man.  In the case of the rich young ruler, he did not have any money, his money had him. Behold a man.


And now, last we note a saved man. This was the most important thing about Zacchaeus, he was a saved man. We know he was a saved man because Jesus said so, “Today is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.” And we can have the same assurance. Paul said in Galatians the third chapter, “As many of us as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There can be neither bond nor free, there can be neither male nor female. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, but ye are all one man in Christ Jesus, and if Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to promise.”

Zacchaeus had no idea that day when he climbed the sycamore tree that salvation would be his that very day. He was like the man Isaiah talked about in Isaiah 65:1, “I am sought of them that asked not for me, I am found of them that sought me not.” No one had tried to evangelize Zacchaeus; nobody cared. But Jesus found him up the sycamore tree, a most unlikely place.

I know of some who have gone to the hospital for an operation, in the operation the surgeon sees it is a hopeless case, and sends the patient home to die. But with the Great Physician, there is no hopeless case from the disease of sin, even with a man like Zacchaeus, rejected by his own race and countrymen. When Zacchaeus climbed the sycamore tree that day, he never dreamed before the day was over that he would hear the Saviour of the world announce, “Today is salvation come to this house.” It is possible that someone hearing this message today may be led to the Lord, even though you were not really looking for Him, and nobody cared, except Jesus.

Behold a man. That sounds familiar as I turn through the pages of God’s Word. Then when I come to John the 19th chapter, I remember how Pilate brought out the battered form of Jesus arrayed in a purple garment, and wearing a crown of thorns, and shouted to a jeering mob, “BEHOLD THE MAN!”