On the Way To The Cross – An Unliked Man
Here is a list of the top eight professions that someone has who commits suicide:
- Dentist – 6.64 time greater percentage
- Medical Doctor
- Armed Forces
- Hospice Workers
- Abortion Clinic Workers
What is it about serving people which drags these professionals down to depression?
LACK OF APPRECIATION
Let’s look at Jesus on his way to Jerusalem:
- He told the disciples about His upcoming death and resurrection;
- They fought over who would be the greatest;
- He healed a blind beggar just outside of Jericho;
- Now he enters the city of Jericho and does something not thought well of by other people.
1 “Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.””
Jesus broke some social laws in this passage:
- No matter how important a person is they do not invite themselves over to someone else’s house.
- No good Jew would associate with a tax collector.
The result of a Jew choosing the life of a tax collector:
- Family disowns you
- Never be allowed to worship in a synagogue
- You would be looked at “as bad as a murderer”
What his job entailed:
- Collect the taxes to give to the Romans.
- He would add a percentage on top of what the Romans were asking for.
- Two Taxes: Customs tax and a sales tax.
- He would hire collectors under him.
- He would likely be very rich even without cheating.
JESUS, IN HIS LAST FEW DAYS OF LIFE, NOTICES A PHYSICALLY LIMITED TRAITOR AND VALUES HIM
Look at how Zacchaeus responded to this act of being valued:
- He gave half his possessions to the poor ;
- Will pay back four times the amount to anyone he has cheated;
- He is ready to pay back much more than is required of him.
How we tend to see ourselves:
- We judge our worth by our appearance (How do I look?)
- We judge our worth by out achievement (What have I accomplished?)
- We judge our worth on approval (How well am I liked?)
- We judge our worth by our affluence (Do I have enough toys?)
How the devil wants us to see ourselves:
- Discourage you
- Disillusion you
How Jesus sees you:
- He notices you
- He wants to be with you
- He wants to lift you up
WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND HOW GOD THINKS ABOUT YOU
IT CHANGES HOW YOU THINK AND LOOK AT LIFE.
When you understand how much God values you…
- You don’t need to receive your validation from others
- You don’t need to rely on spouse to lift you up
- You don’t need to draw attention to yourself
Here is how Jesus sees you.
- You are likeable;
- You are worth his while;
- You are valuable and important;
- He has compassion on all of your limitations!
God does not value