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JESUS VISITED AND ATE WITH A NOTORIOUS SINNER

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Luke 19, As Jesus was passing through Jericho, a man named Zacchaeus, one of the most influential Jews in the Roman tax-collecting business (and, of course, a very rich man), tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowds. So he ran ahead and climbed into a sycamore tree beside the road, to watch from there. When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name! “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick! Come down! For I am going to be a guest in your home today!” Zacchaeus hurriedly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the crowds were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “Sir, from now on I will give half my wealth to the poor, and if I find I have overcharged anyone on his taxes, I will penalize myself by giving him back four times as much!” Jesus told him, “This shows that salvation has come to this home today. This man was one of the lost sons of Abraham, and I, the Messiah, have come to search for and to save such souls as his.” FRIENDS, JESUS DIDN'T COME TO SAVE THE RIGHTEOUS, INSTEAD, HE DIED FOR THE SINNER! Romans 3:22-24, But now God has shown us a different way to heaven not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us declare us “not guilty” if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like. Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal; yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.

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