A Summer of Scandal Part!

Summer of Scandal

Luke 19:1-10

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Today I am beginning a new series entitled A Summer of Scandal.  There have been several scandals in our world lately.  The Ahmad Arbery Scandal.  The Breanna Taylor scandal.  The George Floyd Scandal.  The police brutality scandal.  The “all lives matter” scandal.  The Law and order President scandal.  The Drew Brees talking about kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful scandal.  The COVID-19 scandal.  There are scandals all around us.  And people love talking about a scandal.  By a show of hands how many people have heard of or seen the TV show Scandal starring Kerri Washington.  I must admit, that I was sucked into the story, and I rarely missed an episode.  Although I do not agree with or condone much of what is portrayed on the screen, the story line is pretty good.  Olivia Pope is a bad mamma jamma, and her and the associates always handle their business no matter how bad the scandal is.  The OPA, Olivia Pope and associates are fixers.  People bring their problems to the OPA and they fix it.  No matter how big, small, crazy, sick, or deranged the scandal is, the OPA can fix it.  They can make it seem like it never even happened, or turn it around to the persons advantage.  But let me say parenthetically on the way to where I am going that aren’t you glad that you do not have to go to a fixer when you are going through…  

You don’t have to go to an agency to get you out of your mess.  You don’t have to go to a company to fix your problem. 

You just ask the savior to help you, comfort strengthen and keep you.  He is willing to help you.  He will carry you through.  Is anybody excited about the fact that God will carry us through.

In spite of racism

In spite of COVID-19

In spite of the division of our nation

In spite of unemployment 

In spite of police brutality

In spite of poor leadership

In spite of political unrest

In spite of it all, God will carry us through!

But as I was saying the TV show scandal revolves around Olivia Pope and her associates fixing scandals.

So today I want to suggest to you that you have a scandal of your own.  

I want to suggest today that you give your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers something to talk about.  Now don’t get too excited.  I am not talking about an illicit affair, going off on your boss, causing a drama at the Walmart, or doing something crazy on social media, rioting, or looting.  

I am talking about stirring up a scandal about the God that you serve.  

The Christ in your life.  

The Jesus in your heart.  

The reason for the season

The captain of your salvation

The hope of the world

If you are going to give people something to talk about.  Give them Jesus.  

Yes, I said it, I want your scandal to be about Jesus.  Usually when you think of the word scandal you think of something that is bad, negative, and immoral, because by definition, that is exactly what the word means.  But I also believe that a scandal is something that people like to talk about.  So, let’s flip the script on the word scandal and turn it into something positive and have people talking about Jesus! 

With all the negativity in our nation lets start a scandal about Jesus.  

With all of the racial unrest lets talk about Jesus.  

With all the friction between Democrats and Republicans lets start a scandal about Jesus.  

With COVID-19 numbers on the rise lets talk about Jesus. 

With all of the social injustice lets start a scandal about Jesus.  

Girl… Did you hear about Jesus.  Yeah girl he is still in the miracle working business.  He saved my cousin Day Day just the other day.

Since people love to talk, lets give them something to talk about.

Shall we look at the text.   

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Here is the inside scoop of this story.  

Zacchaeus is a tax collector.  

He is not an ordinary tax collector, he is a Jew that is a tax collector.  

He is a traitor.  

A turncoat.  

A backstabber.  

He is not well liked.  

As a matter of fact he is despised by his people.

Not only did tax collectors work for the Roman government forcibly taking money from their own people to support the Roman Empire, but they usually took more than they we’re supposed to in order to line their own pockets.  They actually benefited from the mistreatment and abuse of their own people.  So they were not very popular.  So when Jesus sees Zacchaeus in the tree and invites himself to his house, this caused all kinds of drama.  

This caused all kinds of dialogue.  

This caused all kinds of discussion.  

This caused all kinds of rumors.  

This caused a scandal.  

Zacchaeus hears the crowd and says, look Lord, here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor and if I have cheated anybody out of anything I will pay them four times the amount.  Jesus says, today salvation has come to this house, because this man is a son of Abraham too.  Then he tells the crowd one of greatest things ever said by Jesus in the Bible. The son of man came to seek and save the lost.  

He came to seek and saved the lost.   

He came for you and for me.  

He came for the drug addict.  

He came for the street walker.  

He came for the gambler.  

He came for the bookie.  

He came for the dirty politician.  

He came for the crooked preacher. 

He came for the fraudulent doctor.  

He came for gangbanger.  

He came for the juvenile delinquent.  

He came for the racist.  

He came for the bad cop.  

He came for those that need him.  

And that is why we need to start a scandal about Jesus.  People need to know who this Jesus is that came to save them.

So, the relevant question is how can we have a Summer of Scandal.  I am so glad that you ask.  I am going to share with you several things over the next few weeks to help you achieve your summer of scandal.  And today I would like to start with your beliefs.  Your summer of Scandal is based on your beliefs.  What exactly do you believe?  What do we as Christians believe?  What are our basic beliefs?  And when someone asks us what do we believe, what do we say?  I am so glad that you asked.

First we tell them that we believe in the Father.  

We believe that God the creator of heaven and earth is our father.   The great I am that I am is our father.  

The alpha and the omega is our father.  

El Shadai is our father.  

Yahweh is our father.  

Jehovah is our father.

The king of kings and the Lord of lords is our father. 

And because he is our father he does the following three things.

Produces us, he created us, and he created us in his own image.

Protects us, he makes sure that we protects us, just like any good father protects his children, our heaven father protects us

Provides for us, he makes sure that all of our needs our met.  Food, clothing, shelter.  I know you think it was your job, but it was God.  I know you think it was…

Not only do we tell them we believe in the father, we tell them that we believe in the Son.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosever believeth in him should not parish but have everlasting life.  And the son does three things for us.

First the son Preaches to us, he wrapped himself in human flesh.  Came to this world, lived a perfect life and preached to us.  He shared everything thing about the father with us.  Preaching means to proclaim the gospel or the good news.  And this is exactly what Jesus did.  And when he wasn’t doing it with his words he was doing it with his actions…

First the sone preaches to us, secondly the son parishes for us.  He dies so that we can live.   He goes to that cross bearing our sins.  He did nothing wrong.  He parishes for us.  And even in a moment of weakness in the garden when he asked God to remove this cup.  He said not my will, but your will be done.  So he had a made up mind to do what he was sent to do.  He would not come down from the cross…  The son parishes for us.

First the son preaches to us.  Secondly the son parishes for us,  and lastly the son presents us.  I say it every Sunday as part of the benediction,  Now unto him who is able to keep us from falling and present us faultless before his throne with exceeding joy…  Do you know why the son, Jesus is able to present us faultless.  It is because of the blood that he shed.  The blood that washes us white as snow.  The blood that reaches to the highest mountain.  The blood that flows to the lowest valley…  is any body excite about the blood.  Is anybody excited about the fact that when Jesus presents us all God sees is us faultless because of the blood.  All he sees is the blood. The son presents us.

Not only do we tell them we believe he is the father.  Not only do we tell them we believe he the son.  We tell them that we believe he is the Holy Spirit.  Holy Holy Holy lord God almighty early in the morning I song shall rise to the.  Holy Holy Holy merciful and mighty God in three persons, blessed trinity.  Yes we let them know that we believe in the Holy Trinity.  The father.  The son.  The Holy Spirit.  And it is the Holy Spirit that resides in us.  The comforter that arrived on the day of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit does there things for us.

Fist the Holy Spirit prepares us.  The Holy Spirit gets us ready for everything that God has called us to do…  Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true, with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

First the Holy Spirit prepares us.  Secondly the Holy Spirit produces through us.  I keep telling you that Jesus does not save you for you.  He did not save me for me.  He does not save us for us.  He save you.  He saved me.   He saves us so that we can go into the world and help save other.  And this is how the spirit produces through us.  The Holy Spirit uses us to the the work that God has called us to do.  We do not do it on our own it is the power of the Holy Ghost.

First the Holy Spirit prepares us.  Secondly the Holy Spirit produces through us.  And thirdly the Holy Spirit prospers us.  Now I am not talking about name it and claim it.  But there are rewards for being a child of God.   He prospers us.  We have his favor.  We have faithfulness.  And we shall wear a crown.  When its all over.  I’m going to put on my robe and tell the story of how I made it over.  The Holy Spirit will prosper us.

And when we live our lives according to our beliefs it is going to cause a scandal.  People are going to talk about you.  Just like that talked about Jesus for hanging out with Zacchaeus.  What are you talking about preacher?

When you stand up for what is right people are going to talk about you.  

They are going to say you need to have an open mind.  

You need to be more tolerable.  

When you say a man and woman should wait to be married before they have sex.  This is going to cause a scandal.

When you say that you believe that a man should be with a woman and a woman should be with a man.  This is going to cause a scandal.

When you do the right thing when all of your coworkers, friends, and family are doing the wrong thing.  This is going to cause a scandal.

When you say that George Floyd and other black men should not have died.  This is going to cause a scandal.

When you say that kneeling during the national anthem is not disrespectful to the flag or the soldiers that fought for our freedom this is going to cause a scandal

When you say Black lives matter.  This is going to cause a scandal.

When you say this is why Kolin Kapernick took a knee in the first place.

When you say Jesus loves everyone.

When you say that its not your place to tell her what she should do with her body

When you say that your sin is no different than their sin

When you say as for me and my house we will serve the Lord

When you make up in your mind that for God I live and for God I die.  This is going to cause a scandal, but that’s okay.  

Lets start a summer of scandal.

Let’s give them something to talk about.

Let’s give them Jesus.

Let’s give them the lamb that was slain.

Let’s give them the hope of tomorrow. 

Let’s give them the only way.

Let’s give them the righteous one.

Let’s give them Immanuel. 

Let’s give them the great I am.

Let’s give the the will in the middle of a wheel.

Let’s give them the way maker

Let’s give them the miracle worker

Let’s give them the light in the darkness

Let give them El Elyon.

Let’s give them Yahweh.

Let give them Jehovah Jireh.

Let’s give them Jesus Christos.

Let’s give them the friend that sticks closer than a brother.

Let’s give them the father.

Let’s give them the son.

Let’s give them the Holy Spirit.

Let’s give them the answer.

Jesus is the answer for the world today

Above him there’s no other Jesus is the way

If You Have Some Questions In The Corners Of Your Mind

And Traces Of Discourgement And Peace You Cannot Find

Reflections Of The Old Past, They Seem To Face You Everyday

There’s One Thing I Know For Sure That Jesus Is the way

Jesus is the answer for the world today

Above him there’s no other Jesus is the way

I Know You Got Mountains That You Think You Cannot Climb

I Know That Your Skies Have Been Dark, You Think The Sun Won’t Shine

In Case You Don’t Know

I’m Hear To Tell You That The Word Of God Is True

And Everything That He Promised

I Tell You He Would Do It For You

Jesus is the answer for the world today

Above him there’s no other Jesus is the way

Let’s give them something to talk about.

Let’s give them Jesus.

Let’s start a summer of scandal.


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