Scratching The Surface


cratching the Surface


Opening Scripture: Luke 19:1-10

Spiritual Growth Challenge: Recognize Shame and Familiarity

Spiritual Growth - The Word, Worship, Prayer, Living Generously


In this series, Belong, we want to quit looking at people through the lenses of shame and familiarity. Maybe we are so familiar with someone we don’t see what they could be famous for.

If there is anything that keeps people from coming to Christ and church, it is shame.


Our assumptions occur because we judge the surface but don’t love them enough to find the source. The source of their pain, actions, poverty, addiction.



He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 

4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who isa sinner.” 

8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”


Now the Bible says that Zacchaeus was “small in stature." Verse 4 and 7 doesn't just give us insight into height but insight into his life. Verse 4 says, "he was a tax collector," andVerse 7 says "he was a sinner."


Now, as believers, we must begin to read the Bible for all that it says, not just the surface of what it says. We read this and think he is a short sinner, but it fully shows a person who has "fallen short."


If we read it from the surface, we will read it with prejudice.If we read it from fullness, we will realize we are Zacchaeus and have fallen short.  

Romans 3:23“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

The term prejudice means:

           pre - before

           judice - judge

II Corinthians 4:18 “18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”


When we only look at things for how they are seen, we will prejudge them or prejudice them.

It always starts with a spiritual perspective of the problem. If all you see is what you see, you do not see all there is to be seen.

If all you are looking at is the visible, physical, and not the invisible, spiritual, then you will not see the invisible, spiritual because of the visible, physical reality you are facing.

Much of America is on edge right now because of the visible, physical we are going through. But, unfortunately, when we look through the visible, physical, we are looking with prejudice.

But when we look at the invisible, spiritual, we will see a person in pain, not a person as a problem.


When someone realizes that they have fallen short but don't have the solution, they compensate with something.

We need something to make up for our “shortness.”

·       Stress pursues Pills for anxiety.

·       Loneliness and "No One Understands" turn to Alcohol

·       Desperation develops a dependency on Drugs

·       Rejection indulges in extra or alternative Relationships.

Zacchaeus tried to compensate for his fallen shortness by climbing in a sycamore-fig tree. Do not curse someone else for climbing a tree from the viewpoint of your treehouse.


What are things we do in our life to compensate for what Jesus has already died for?


The tree matters. Because the tree represents something significant in your life that you have gone through, and you are climbing a tree for refuge.

Jesus recognizes that your tree is your cry for help.

Two massive things happened by simply stopping:

When Jesus stopped for Zacchaeus, he modeled friendship. Little did Zacchaeus know it would lead to a super natural relationship.

           WhenJesus showed interest in Zacchaeus, He displayed how valuable Zacchaeus was.


When Jesus called Zacchaeus’s name Jesus honored who he was, despite the tree. Jesus stopped for one that mattered on the way to save all who mattered.

When Jesus stopped at the tree, He shifted from honoring Zacchaeus to showing the worth and value of Zacchaeus.

My end goal cannot be to get someone out of a tree. It must be to show them someone greater than me.


Jesus saw a man who had fallen short and climbed up a tree.

As he stopped for him, a relationship was started, but value was imparted.

This opened the door for Jesus to go to the most intimate part of his life, his heart, as he went to his home.


The more profound encounter of this stopping moment is that Jesus did prophetically what He was about to go through personally.


When Jesus got to his tree, the cross, he climbed on it, willing to overcome our "fallen shortness."

At that moment Jesus stopped, and said,"Father, forgive them (Joel), for they do not know what they do."

My name was called out and written in theLamb's Book of Life when we said that.


Now is my job to receive the invitation Jesus is sending. As he sees me in my tree of ______ and calls my name, I respond and let him come into my house.


Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”