Episode 027 – Zacchaeus Pt 3: Jesus’ Shocking Actions

Key Passage(s): Luke 19:1-10; Luke 15:1-2

In the first two episodes, we examined Zacchaeus’ actions and how utterly remarkable his responses were. But how were such responses even possible? The answer lies in Jesus’ actions. They’re shocking, perplexing, and infuriating to those in the crowd, but life-giving and healing to those in need of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. May we not only embrace Jesus’ actions, but emulate them to others as well.

Discussion Questions

  • What’s your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • In three weeks of engaging this passage now, what did you see or learn that you hadn’t seen in the story thus far?
  • “How often are we the crowd?” was posed in the teaching. What came to mind as you heard that question?
  • Which of Jesus’ five actions (knew name and pursued, offered love and acceptance, didn’t care about reputation but people, rescued and restored, enabled Zacchaeus to become who he was called to be) struck you the most? Why?
  • What which did you need to hear the most? Which one challenged you the most as you think about emulating Jesus’ actions to others?
  • How will you begin walking out the truths of this teaching over this next week?

For Further Study

  • Encounters With Jesus by Gary M. Burge – This story is addressed in Chapter 3 (Note: Gary comes to a different conclusion about Zacchaeus’ actions).

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  1. Here I sit in a crowded airport with a “crowd” of people around me. This brings me to my knees as I ask the HS spirit to show Jesus and not judge. This video was a great way to start my day, trip. Bless God and thank you.

  2. Thank God for you and your gift to teach! Praying for your teaching in the coming weeks. I am in process of starting a support group for young people who’ve been abused. I was abused physically, mentally and emotionally in my youth. Today the Lord Jesus has seen fit to use His story in me to reach others. The study on Zacheaus has been so encouraging to me personally and I believe it will continue too!! Thank you!

  3. Could Matthew have worked for Zacchaeus and by quitting his job, becoming a disciple,and living a changed life have been a factor in Zacchaeus wanting to meet Jesus when he came to Jericho?Perhaps Zaccheus was at Matthews party and Zacchaeus had previously met Jesus and that is why Jesus knew his name?

    • Hi Craig. Perhaps. They are operating in different areas, however. Matthew is on the north side of the Sea of Galilee. Zacchaeus is all the way down towards the Dead Sea. But I do think Zacchaeus was aware of Matthew becoming a disciple and that could have factored into the story. I’ll explain more in the Q&A teaching on this story. Thanks!

  4. Can we compare the people who are “muttering” to the oldest son in the Prodigal Parable? Both have a semblance of obedience but appear to also both fail in attempting to bring the lost back into the Father’s house?

  5. It seems like the mentioning of a specific type of tree that was climbed must have had a significance beyond the branch height. Is there anything more about an Israeli sycomore tree? Bark texture, historical? Known to be a skin irratant? Anything that gives reason to a specific mention?

  6. Wanted to thank you for all your teachings. I am a nurse practitioner and have been around a lot of addicts of one kind or another. Family members who struggle with addictions have damaged my family. In my spirit, I have been reluctant to lovingly medically treat those who struggle with addictions. I realized through this lesson, like the crowd, I have not been seeing people as Jesus did, needing love and compassion and reaching out to them. Recognizing again that Jesus ate and sought out tax collectors and sinners has been a convicting message to my heart and soul and has enabled me to reach out to those whose lives have been stolen due to addictions. Thank you for sharing the things that our Savior teaches you.

    • I really appreciate you sharing, Martha. That’s not an easy thing to share, but thank you for doing it. We need to keep loving those addicts. I am a former porn addict that almost lost my marriage. I’ve been clean for twelve years, but I know that feeling of hopelessness when you’re caught up in something you want to get out of. Again, thank you for sharing!

  7. Listening to this message had my mind all over the place of the different ways Jesus meets ppl where they are. How He moves past and through external barriers and uses the language that pierces to our individual hearts. What a rich story. I’m so thankful to know it better. I can’t wait for the rest!

  8. This teaching along with a recent trip to Israel brought about a new understanding to the significance of Jericho. I did not realize how significant this area is in history and yet it seemed like such a harsh, barren land. I wonder why Jericho would have been on the route to Jerusalem? Seems like people would have wanted to travel a route through less harsh areas?

    • Hey Doug, anyone coming from the north wanted to skirt “Samaria,” so they went through the rift valley (flat travel). And then the only main way up to Jerusalem was through Jericho.

  9. Hello Brad;

    I love this study. One thing I see Jesus doing is watching where his Father is at work. “What I do is what I see the Father doing.” I wonder did Jesus see a man up a tree say to himself, “I must find out more about what the Father is doing in this person.” For “no man can come to me unless the Father draws him.” Just imagine there is a crowd of people. How would one determine where is God at work? Then you see a grown man up a tree. You may even over hear comments possibly like ‘look at Zacheus, making a fool of himself, he is so short he has to climb a tree.’

    I think Jesus saw that the Father was already at work in Zacheus and wanted to join His Father and find out more.

    John 5:19
    John 6:44

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