AM I Worthy? (Part I)
Memory Verse – Revelation 3:20 – "Behold, I stand at the door, and
knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and
will sup with him, and he with me."
Many Christians have been taught that "We’re not even worthy to gather
the crumbs that fall from the Lord’s table." Even today I hear the people
of God make this statement. Before I began studying the Word I simply fell in
line with those who profess this, but the Lord provides us with more than enough
evidence to show that He wants us at His table and for good reason.
First, however, let’s look at where this saying probably came from. In
Matthew 15:21-28 the Bible tells the story of a woman of Caanan who wanted the
Lord to heal her demon-possessed daughter. She was persistent in getting the
Lord’s attention; however, when she finally did He responded, "I was sent
only to the lost sheep of Israel" (24th). To many people that would have
been the end. But for this woman, it wasn’t. She BELIEVED that she was worthy
to receive something from the Lord—even if it was His children’s crumbs
(26-27th). So we’ve gotten it all wrong. We are worthy!! And because we are His
children, we’re entitled to more than the crumbs. We can sit at the Lord’s
Now when we refer to the Lord’s table, of course we don’t mean a physical
table. But remember, the Lord did set a physical table – The Lord’s Supper. Now
let’s look and see who was at this table… Of course the Savior was there and
so were His disciples. And among the disciples was a man named Judas. Let me
repeat that– JUDAS!!! The Bible refers to Judas by many names: "Judas
Iscariot, which also was the traitor"; "Judas, which betrayed
him"; and "Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus," just
to name a few. But Jesus still ALLOWED Judas to sit at His table through His
grace and mercy. And not only was he permitted to sit at the table, but he was
also given the honor of sitting right next to Jesus. We know this because
Matthew 26:23 and Mark 14:20 tell us that Jesus and Judas ("they")
dipped their hands in the bowl together. We also discover in John 13:27-30 that
after Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray Him, Satan entered
Judas and suddenly he got up from the table and left to betray Jesus. At this
point, you are probably thinking, "That’s right! Judas was there and he
did betray Jesus – he wasn’t worthy to be there!" (Keep that thought.)
(2) Zacchaeus-Worthy (Luke 19:1-10)
As Jesus was passing through Jericho he met a man named Zacchaeus, the chief
tax collector who was also rich. However, he was a short man; so to ensure that
he saw Jesus over the crowd, he climbed a tree. When Jesus saw him He said to
Zacchaeus, "come down immediately. I must stay at your house today"
(5th). Zacchaeus came down and welcomed Jesus gladly. But when the people saw
this "they all murmured, saying, that he [Jesus] was gone to be guest with
a man that is a sinner" (7th). Notice that THE PEOPLE, not the Father, not
the Son, not the Holy Spirit, but THE PEOPLE murmured things about Jesus
Afterwards Jesus and Zacchaeus went to Zacchaeus’ house. The Bible does not
tell everything that happened, but it does reveal the most significant event.
Out of the "blue," Zacchaeus STOOD and said, "Behold, Lord, the
half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man
by false accusation, I shall restore him fourfold" (8th). Zacchaeus was at
the Lord’s table the same as Judas. Ahhh yes, Judas…. Do you still have that
thought of Judas not being worthy to be at the table. Let’s go back to that.
Remember THE PEOPLE who murmured that Zacchaeus was not worthy to have Jesus as
a visitor? Well, who’s murmuring that Judas was not worthy….. THE PEOPLE.
Judas and Zacchaeus had much in common. Both were at the table of the Lord
and both were deemed unworthy to be at the Lord’s table. However, that label of
unworthiness came from Man and not from the Lord. We earthly creatures cast
judgement upon these two men because of our own thoughts and criteria; however,
the Lord has a criteria that’s beyond our understanding. To Him, they both had
worth. Also, following their one-on-one encounter with the Savior, both men did
the exact same thing – THEY STOOD UP. Yet the big difference is this – WHAT
THEY DID AFTER THEY STOOD UP!
Zacchaeus stood up and confessed because he was overwhelmed and CONVICTED by
the Holy Spirit. Because of this, his house received salvation that very
moment, that very day. Judas stood up, however, because he was CALLED-OUT!
(exposed). He shows us what can happen when we refuse to let the Holy Spirit
merge with our spirits. If Judas had enough God in him, his change would have
come too, but his carnal man was stronger than his spirit man and that allowed
Satan to enter him. He paid for his lack of acceptance of the Holy Spirit with
his suicide and eternal separation from God (Matthew 27:1-10). Also if we go
back to Luke 19:1-10 we will see that Zacchaeus, unlike Judas, was actually
seeking righteousness. His act of climbing that tree to SEE Jesus was his way
of calling out and YES, JESUS HEARD HIS CRY!!!!!!
These two men should show us that we all are worthy to sit at the Lord’s
table. The reason He wants us there is so we can learn about Him, feel His Love
and Power (the way Zacchaeus felt it), and act on the Holy Spirit’s guidance
(remember, Zacchaeus said that he would give to the poor and restore to those
he cheated – 8th). It’s not our job to say who is worthy. Remember, it’s our
job to sit at the table, be convicted, and allow the Holy Spirit to move upon
us so that we can be what God wants us to be. We are worthy!!!