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The Rev. William Klock: “Today Salvation has Come to This House” (Luke 19:1-10)

June 29, 2015

From Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word Reformed Episcopal Church in British Columbia, here is another sermon in his series on the Gospel of Luke, titled Today Salvation has Come to This House.  In this message, Fr. Bill has some very good thoughts about Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus in Luke 19, and I appreciated what he had to say in this excerpt:

Jesus affirms Zacchaeus’ repentance and all that he’s done.  He recognises his change of heart and he assures him of his place in the kingdom: “Today salvation has come to this house.”  While everyone else considered Zacchaeus a traitor to his people, Jesus sets him before the crowd as an example of what looks like to be a true son of Abraham.  And Jesus reminds the crowd of his ministry: “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  He didn’t come to affirm the righteous, but seek out the lost and to bring them back to the fold—he came specifically to seek out people like Zacchaeus and to bring them back.  And in that Zacchaeus represents us all.  The people of Jericho considered his actions treasonous.  They looked forward to the day that Zacchaeus and his Roman friends would be judged and punished by God along with all the other sinners.  But consider, Brothers and Sisters, that every one of us is a traitor.  Our sin is cosmic treason against the God who lovingly created us.  It matters little how big or small our sin, whether we’ve sinned a little or sinned a lot, because the holiness of God, against which our sin is measured, is perfect.  All of us, little sinners and big sinners alike, are traitors.  All of us alike, little sinners and big sinners, deserve judgement and condemnation and eternal death.  But Zacchaeus reminds us of the loving and merciful grace of God.  Jesus came for people like us.  He came to seek us out and to save us from judgement.  All we need do is take hold of him in faith.  It’s hard.  The rich young ruler is like many of us: not ready and not willing to give up the wealth that had become his god.  Or maybe we’re like the people of Jericho, self-righteous and proud and judgemental: not ready to let go of our self-righteousness, shabby as it is.  We find security in judging and condemning sinners worse than ourselves.  Zacchaeus, though, reminds us that with God all things are possible.  Even a cheating, selfish, money-grubbing, traitorous tax collector can let go and take hold of Jesus, and if Zacchaeus can do it, so can we with God’s help.  If you believe and struggle to let go, pray with the Father who brought his son to Jesus for salvation: “I believe, but help my unbelief!”  Jesus came to seek and to save the lost and he will build and strengthen your faith, he will give you the faith and the grace to let go that you might instead take hold of him.

Truly, salvation has come to this house and this world in the Person of Jesus Christ!  If you’d like to hear the sermon, you can do so below.

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