“JESUS… Guest, Ghost, or Resident”
- I believe that there are many people in world today who claim Christianity have Jesus as a “guest” in their home.
- I further believe that there are even more people where Jesus is a “ghost” in their home.
- Sadly, there are very few that have Jesus as a resident in their home.
- I hope that today’s examination of our homes will bring new life to the homes and hearts of God’s people.
- Ask yourself today… “Is Jesus a Guest, Ghost or resident in my heart and home?”
- I pray that Jesus is a “Resident.” (resident; person who lives in a certain place; as in a house, a city, a country, an apartment, etc.)
I. JESUS, A Guest
A) A guest where
- The word “guest” in Webster’s Dictionary is described to mean… a visitor; a person to whom the hospitality of a home, a club, etc., is given.
- This account (true story) of Zacchaeus is the first time, and only time in the 4 gospels that Jesus invited Himself to be a guest in someone’s home. It is not a request of Jesus but a command.
- Look at the WHERE – Luke 19:1… And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Jesus is passing many places and hearts as he journeys in His ministry from place to place and heart to heart.
- Jericho was a prosperous trade center.
- In Joshua 6:26… Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.
- It was a wicked city, and that is more than likely why “Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.”
- There are times folks, that we have to go through a place or situation where we just pass through it and not stay. Especially in sin.
- In America today I am concerned that Jesus is not a guest or resident anymore. I believe that Jesus is becoming a ghost.
- You take a good look at the people, the news media, the talk show hosts on television, your work place and yes, even the so called churches.
- Look at WHO – verse 2) And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
- Jericho was a lively city and Zacchaeus was a man who was “was the chief among the publicans (tax collectors).” He had other tax collectors working for Him
- Zacchaeus was a sinner like you and I. His sin was not being a tax collector. His sin was not being rich. His sin was the same as many rich people…his focus was on money.
- Most rich people do not stay rich by being honest. They get rich by cheating others out of their money and taking advantage of their work ethic.
- Zacchaeus was rich and enjoyed his money and work.
- Zacchaeus also heard of Jesus and all the hub-bub (gossip) that surrounded Him and His ministry.
B) A guest is sought
- Verse 3) And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4) And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
- The word “sought” is a past tense form of the word “seek,” which means to search for something that you are interested in finding.
- A guest is a visitor. The guest is not a resident, does not live there on a permanent basis.
- A guest may be invited by the owner of a said place or the guest may invite themselves.
- In this account of Zacchaeus, we see him seeking Jesus. WHY? Because he wanted to see “…who he was;”
- At that time (Jesus time on earth) Jesus was heard of but not known of many. Much like today, many people have heard of Jesus, but not many “know” Him… meaning to have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus.
- In order for you to have a guest, you must “seek” them, seek their need and be hospitable when they come to you.
- Zacchaeus had “sought” Jesus. Do you seek Jesus? Many Christians do not seek Jesus. They are too busy with their life and the world with what it has to offer.
- Note verse 5) And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. 6) And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7) And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
- The later part of verse 7 shows us the heart of many believers and nonbelievers. They think to the negative first.
- How dare the Son of God go into a house of a sinner! And worse yet… He stayed there for awhile! Isn’t this like most folks and especially Christians?
- Look at verse 10) For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
- This guest came to seek the host. Jesus is still seeking a host that will invite Him into their homes and their hearts to stay.
II. JESUS, A Ghost
A) Something you cannot see
- A “ghost” is something that you cannot see, feel, touch, or hear.
- When you look up the word “ghost” in the Webster’s dictionary it describes the word to mean…a human spirit or soul thought of as having left the body of a dead person and as living in an unseen world, or as appearing in bodily form to living persons.
- Let us go to another passage of scripture this morning in Isaiah 65, and I would like for us to take notice here of Israel’s condition which is much like Americans (or in fact, the world) today… Theysought the LORD (God) but only superficially, meaning that they wanted people to think they were seeking God on the surface or in appearance only. They honored God with their lips, but their heart was far from Him! (Isaiah 29:13, which is scripture that Christ quoted in Mark 7:6)
- This kind of behavior tells God you are liars, copies of Satan.
- These are God’s children acting in this manor! We are God’s children acting like this!
- Look at God telling Israel in Isaiah 65:1…I am sought of them (the Gentiles) that asked not for me ; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
- I find it interesting that we the Gentile nation seek God when we did not ask for God, we have found God when we were not seeking Him, and we look to Him when we were not called!
- God is telling Israel here… “I am a “ghost” to you!” You Israel, do not seek Me, therefore, you do not find Me, and so you are not called by my name!
- God had become a ghost to Israel. Today God and His Son Jesus Christ have become a ghost in most homes and hearts.
- It used to be at least America looked like a Godly nation, and acted like a Godly nation. Now we are Godless! We have become like Israel in that we have many gods that we worship!
- Do you honestly think that God will bless our nation? NO!!!
B) Grace given by a ghost
- Verse 2) I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; 3) A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; 4) Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5) Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
- You talk about grace… WOW, “) I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people.”
- Look at the kind of people God has given His unmerited grace to…
- “…a rebellious people” People who ignore my Laws, my commandments
- “…which walketh in a way that was not good” Seeking to do bad things.
- “…after their own thoughts” Lovers of pleasure, pleasing of self.
- “…people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face” people who continually do things to make God angry with them.
- “…Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5) Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” People who worshipped the dead and called to the dead spirits and ate the animals offered to their idols. The worst part of the whole false worship to false gods is that it flowed in their vessels (their bodies that are God’s temple.)
- God was a ghost to them (the Jews).
- We must warned as Isaiah did to Israel in Isaiah 65:6…Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense (give to you what you deserve), even recompense into their bosom, 7) Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.
- God does keep silent, but not for long against those who treat God as a ghost in their home, in their heart, or in their country!
- God gave grace to those that served Him and were faithful to Him in…
Isaiah 65:8, 9, 10.
III. JESUS, A Resident
A) What is a “resident?”
- A resident is someone who “resides” in a place.
- To “reside” means to make a home, to live in, or dwell in.
- To be a “resident” means that you have made a certain place your home because you feel at home and are happy there.
- Jesus wants to take up residence in our hearts and homes. The problem is that people do not want Jesus. He “crowds” them.
- You’ve heard the saying “Twos company, three is a crowd.” People are happy with two (Themselves and sin), but to add Jesus as a third party… forget it!
- David asked God to check out his heart’s condition…Psalm 139:23…Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7…Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Seek Jesus and make Him a resident in your heart and home.