Key Word:- CONSIDER
Title:- Stinky’s House of Shame
Luke 19:1,2 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
Jericho of course was rebuilt under a curse. Indeed it was General Joshua who pronounced “Cursed be the man before the LORD who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.” Joshua 6:26.
The scripture later records that it was ‘Hiel of Bethel’ that did just that. He did not rebuild Jericho in the exact same location, but he did establish a city of the same type, purpose and name. Hiel sacrificed Abiram his firstborn at the laying of its foundations and set up its gates over the sacrifice of his youngest son Sergub. Jesus entered this same Jericho through those same cursed gates and passed over the same cursed foundations. Truly Christ honoured it with His presence and He does this a lot even today, for He has come to take away the curse of sin.
Here in cursed Jericho, Zacchaeus was the chief of tax collectors, the chief of publicans, the ‘head honcho’, the ‘big boss’ and in the nose of his fellow Jews was no doubt, ‘the littlest biggest stinker’ in Jericho. So this sick and culturally rejected and ejected little man with foul, fame-filled ears, is found atop a sycamore tree trying to catch a glimpse of Him of whom he has heard so much. Note that even the stinkiest of sinners are intrigued by the real Jesus, ‘And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.” Luke 19:3-6
So the little stink sets his sights on Jesus and Jesus, knowing His name, encourages this seemingly simple and curious beginning, by inviting Himself to tea! In the cursed city, Jesus now enters the cursed house and now made even tighter, all the slit sphincter-like souls of every sorry religious hypocrite who now murmured in unison the same sad mantra. Will you listen: ‘they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Luke 19:7
Friends we don’t know what went on at stinky’s house that hot afternoon but we do know that the spiritual olfactory membranes of Zacchaeus were activated to smell something sweet and something wholesome in the glorious graciousness of King Jesus. So much so that the only recorded words of Jesus after inviting himself to tea, is in response to the interesting declaration of faith made by Zacchaeus: “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Ahhhh Wonderful. Look at the faces of the Pharisees now, they’ve sucked in air so quickly, you know longer know which tight end is which!
Now friends the ‘just saved’ will no doubt cause some consternation in the house of the ‘righteous redeemed’. They always will. What a glorious mess to begin clearing up though eh? What an utterly glorious mess! And I tell you what, I hear singing friends, I hear happy songs from heaven, even from the throne. Do you?
Listen:- “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:4-7
Pray:- Lord in all my hymns of praise and adoration, in all my hymns of declaration and dedication, let them never drown out Your songs of joy over sinners now saved. Teach me to listen to Your singing, learn Your tune, and sing along with Your joy. Teach me to rejoice with You O Lord, over the arrival of Your salvation at every stinking house of shame. Amen.