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"Then Jesus said to Zacheus, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."

Luke 19:9-10   .


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  Sermon Excerpt: Through the Lens of Grace, Luke 19:1-10, Rev. Randy Quinn

When I was five or six years old, there was a bank robbery in the town where we lived. I was too young to remember it, but Iíve heard my father tell about it - and how it directly affected him. The bank tellers gave an accurate description of a man, including a description of the plaid shirt he was wearing. Within minutes, the police found my father in a store about a block away. He was wearing the same shirt and matched the description of the man who had been involved in the robbery. But when they took him away, he had no idea why he was being arrested.

In those circumstances, protesting innocence doesnít help. Certainly he was guilty of something! I mean, like my father, I sometimes find myself exceeding the speed limit. Like my father, I sometimes find myself jay walking. Like my father - and many of you - I find myself pressing the limits of parking meters on occasion.

No one is totally innocent. We may be Ďlaw-abiding citizens,í but there are some laws we have broken at some point in time. Until he knew what he was suspected of doing, he couldnít plead innocence. All he could do was tell the truth and hope the truth would be believed.

It wasnít long before the truth was heard; they realized they had the wrong man and my father was released. (Iíve never heard who the real bank robber was, though.) Have you ever been wrongly accused of something? You may not have been taken into police custody for questioning, but have you ever been blamed for something you didnít do?

Most of us have. When I was a child, there were countless times when my brothers would do something and I would take the rap. In those circumstances, I tried to plead innocence but to no avail. I was presumed guilty because my brothers said I was. In all fairness to them, I suspect they have often said they took the rap for me - I just donít remember those times! All-too-often, the perceptions of the accuser cloud the truth and it cannot be seen or heard. Protesting does not change perceptions.

In many parts of the world, Americans are perceived as the cause of poverty and suffering simply because we have enormous wealth. Itís a perception that will not be easily changed because the accusers have already passed judgment...Subscribers: click here for the full sermon and more