LIFE OF CHRIST

 

Luke 18:35 - 19:10

TWO PEAS IN A POD

LIFE OF CHRIST #44

 

There is an expression “like as two peas in a pod” or “They’re two peas in a pod.”  What does the term mean?

According to Answers.com the phrase means, “Very similar, bearing a close resemblance. For example, they’re not even sisters, but they're like as two peas in a pod. This expression alludes to the seeds contained in a pea pod, which do indeed look very much alike.” http://www.answers.com/topic/like-as-two-peas-in-a-pod

 

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to fulfill his destiny, but he still had time for the needs of two peas in a pod. Now, when you first observe Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus you might think that they have very little in common.

 

Bartimaeus was a blind man.  He had no fixed means of income. He was a beggar. His name is given to us in Mark.

 

Zacchaeus was a very wealthy man, probably one of the wealthiest men in Jericho. He was the head tax collector for the Roman government in the Jericho area, a principle area for collecting taxes. All the tax collectors paid Zacchaeus, who in turn paid the Roman government.

 

THEY BOTH HAD FRUSTRATIONS

 

18:35 – It is not hard to comprehend or understand Bartimaeus’ frustrations.

 

·       HE WAS BLIND

He was probably blind from birth.

He had never seen a sunrise. 

He had never seen another person.

He had never seen the beauties of nature.

He had never seen where he was going.

He was dependent on the eyes of others, who could tell him what was going on. 

 

18:36-37 – The only reason Bart knew about Jesus was because he heard the commotion, asked what was going on, and someone told Him.

 

·       HE WAS BROKE

Bart was a beggar.

Some of us can remember or have recently experienced times when money was tight.  When we were living in our last church, our children thought that we were poor. But none of us are as poor as the beggars were in the days of Jesus.  It is likely that he was often hungry and had scanty clothes.  It is possible that he may have even been homeless.

 

Bartimaeus had his frustrations, but so did Zacchaeus.

Although Zacchaeus was a rich man, he would have been an outcast among the Jews. 

He would have only been acceptable to other tax collectors or those whose occupations were shady.

 

The Jews would have considered him to be a traitor because he was working for the Roman government, and tax collectors were known for charging more taxes than they had to pay to Rome. He was probably not welcome in the local synagogue. He was a hated man. Because he was the head tax collector, he would have been considered the head traitor.

 

Although Zacchaeus was rich, it does not mean that he was happy.  Money just can’t buy happiness.

 

He had another problem, he was short of stature. Most Jews were short, but he was short by their standards. He probably grew up being teased about his height, and when Jesus passed by, he couldn’t see Jesus because of the crowd in front of him.

 

Both Zach and Bart had their frustrations, for sure.

But they both had another frustration.

It is more obvious in Zach, because he probably did get his position by being entirely honest.

 

Both men at some point in their lives suffered under the burden of sin.  Although we have no hint at Bart’s sins, we know that he had them.

 

As someone has said, we usually feel guilty because we are. The Bible is very clear that we are all guilty sinners. Isaiah 64:6, Ephesians 2:1-3

 

You know, we are like Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus.  We are another “pea in the pod”.  We have our frustrations. We all have had to struggle with the guilt of sin.

 

THEY BOTH HAD FRUSTRATIONS

THEY BOTH EXERCISED FAITH

   

18:38 – When Bart was told that it was Jesus passing by, he began to yell to “Jesus, the son of David”.  This was a messianic term. It indicates that Bartimaeus had his faith in Jesus as the Messiah. 

We would say today, that he was a believer. 

Based on what he had been told about the actions and teachings of the Lord Jesus, he had placed his faith in Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16

 

18:39 – Bartimaeus’ faith went further than believing on Jesus as His Messiah.  He was continually crying out, even though he was told to be quiet. He was uttering a prayer!

 

Vss. 40-41 – Jesus heard Bartimaeus. Jesus hears the prayers of His saints as well. John 14:13-14

 

Jesus asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want?”

 

Do you ever stop to think of Jesus asking you, “What do you want, Bob, Fran, Dave, Jackie?”

Jesus encourages us to keep on asking like Bartimaeus did.

And Jesus encourages us to ask for specific things in persistent, believing prayer. Matthew 7:7-11, John 5:14-15

 

Bartimaeus showed his faith. So did Zacchaeus. They were two peas in a pod.

 

19:3-4 – Zacchaeus sought after Jesus.  He had hunger in his soul, and some sort of faith that Jesus was the answer to His problems. 

 

It is possible that Zach heard about another tax collector who now followed Jesus, Matthew.

 

When Zacchaeus couldn’t get close to Jesus because of the crowd, he threw all dignity and caution to the wind and ran ahead and climbed a tree.  It was a sycamore tree, a tree with a short stump, but wide branches and easy to climb. The leaves in the tree would have hid him at least somewhat.

 

19:5-6 – Jesus stopped beneath the tree, saw Zacchaeus and summoned him down.  Zacchaeus didn’t know that He had a divine appointment with Jesus, but Jesus did!

 

Jesus saw a man ready to be saved, ready to trust Him.

 

19:7 – While the crowd complained, Jesus talked to Zacchaeus.  We don’t know what was said but we see the result.  Zacchaeus’ faith was not in his money but in Jesus.

He became a believer in Christ.  The proof of his salvation is shown in his announcement.

 

19:8 – To start, half of his wealth would be given to the poor. And then out of the remaining 50% Zacchaeus would pay restitution to anyone that he cheated.  That was the maximum payment required by Jewish law.  Considering Zach’s business, he had probably cheated lots of people.

 

Zacchaeus was showing that money was not important any more. He found a changed life in Jesus. How has your life changed since you put your faith in Jesus?

 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, [10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Do you remember the rich young ruler?  Because money was his God Jesus told him to sell it all, give to the poor and follow Him.  He didn’t do it.   

 

Zacchaeus, on the other hand, basically did what the rich young ruler didn’t. He gave the riches up for Christ!

 

THEY BOTH RECEIVED FAVOR

 

18:40-42 – Bartimaeus received his sight.

Bartimaeus was also saved because of His faith in Christ

 

When we trust Christ as Savior we will have eternal life. Acts 16:31

 

When we pray as Christians in faith believing we will have our prayers answered. Mark 11:24  

 

Salvation also came to Zacchaeus.   

 

19:9 – Why was Zacchaeus saved? Was it because he gave away a fortune? No! The giving away of the fortune was the evidence of his salvation!

 

Zacchaeus was saved because he showed himself to be a Son of Abraham.  Abraham was the father of faith.  Those who place their faith in Christ are children of Abraham. Galatians 3:9, 13-14

 

God exercises favor to those who trust His Son.

 

Bart and Zach were “two peas in a pod”:

 

THEY BOTH HAD FRUSTRATIONS

THEY BOTH EXERCISED FAITH

THEY BOTH RECEIVED FAVOR

 

How about you?

Are you another pea in that pod?

 

 

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