Taking our ‘armour’ off so people see Jesus – Luke 19:1-10

I have today completed a pattern of preaching where I preached the same sermon in all five of our Sunday congregations over 3 weeks. The idea was to unpack and give a Biblical background to each of the three values that we worked on last year. An introduction to the work we did to get to them is here.

The process of preaching the same sermon 5 times has itself been an interesting learning process, but I’ll blog about that another time. For now, here’s my sermon, based on the story of Zacchaeus, and our “outward” facing value which says we want to seek God by meeting with the people of Yateley to explore the relevance of new life with Jesus.

I’m pretty sure that Zacchaeus took his shoes off to climb the sycamore fig tree, because to be honest climbing in sandals is pretty difficult! I guess feet that live in sandals like Zac’s probably did, are tougher than many of ours, and bare feet have a natural degree of grip that is a big improvement on a well worn strip of leather. Even so, as Zac climbed up to see Jesus he made himself vulnerable to cutting his feet on the nobbly stalks which the sycamore fig produces as it flowers and fruits along it’s stems. But being able to see Jesus was more important to Zac than a few minor scratches.

Actually the sermon suggested we take more than our shoes off, and was rather longer than that 🙂 – probably the longest I’ve ever preached it rolled in at about 25 minutes long! From the feedback it seems to have had a significant impact on those that have heard it, and neither they, nor I, really noticed the time. There whole text is here: Sermon Luke 19v1-10 (outward value – final version)

I feel like this sermon was very significant, for me, and for those who heard it. Now the question is, can we go and live it?



  1. Hi Rachel
    very confusing. The Bible tells us to put the armour of God on.
    To seek God we do not go to other people. We go to Jesus and the Bible. There are many people in Yateley who are very confused about the church and Jesus because they hear conflicting things.
    People see Jesus in you by your fruit. very simple.


  2. confusing? Why confusing Ian? Did you read the whole sermon? Rachel made the specific point that she was not talking about the armour of God (see page 3!), but making ourselves vulnerable to draw folk to Jesus; taking off our defensive shells that may detract from people seeing Jesus. It’s something I’ve seen in her as she has developed more and more into her ministry… meeting people where they are, and being the hands, voice and arms of Jesus in many difficult situations.
    Her sermon is one of challenge to us to reach out to those people who do not know yet the love of God, just as Jesus reached out to Zacchaeus.
    Where’s the conflict in that? Where’s the confusion?
    So, read the sermon again, please. You might also like to look at http://www.bigdaddywhale.com/missional-church/.



    • graham

      firstly the passage does not mention anything about taking sandalls off. with scripture you dont add anything and dont remove anything. the passage is about about urgency of meeting jesus. people see Jesus by your fruit, very simple. come and hear the best bible teacher currently Jacob Prasch Mar 1st and you will learn how to find Jesus through the scriptures. very simple.


      • Ian, not sure what you are trying to say here… Can I assume that you stopped reading after the removal of the sandals? And that you did not read further? Really? Wow. If this is what listening to ‘the best bible teacher’ makes you think, then it’s not ‘loving the Lord your God with all your heart, mind soul and strength’.
        Come on. God gave us a brain. Please let’s use it.


  3. Graham

    No Graham, I read on because i was intrigued as to what else Rachel was going to come up with with all hers years of training. I then read the passage again. Interesting i spoke to bishop Steven Lowe last week after his comments on the Big question tv program when ask is there life after death he answered of course not. I rang him because i used my brain and thought that the wrong answer and was he just not prepared to answer the question. He answered me saying that he didnt believe and that he did believe in the bible and most clergy in the c of e are the same. I therefore have major concerns. As i do believe the bible and its entire contents. Its Gods word and its Jesus. John 15 8


  4. Um.
    relevance of Steven Lowe?

    So… you are now saying that most clergy don’t believe. Really? Not the ones I’ve met. Who in this parish are you referring to?

    And you insinuate that training prevents people from talking meaningfully, relevantly and interestingly about what God is doing?

    Well, it’s certainly an interesting point of view to have. How it is relevant to the discussion of the sermon I have no idea… I can’t believe that you are saying that Rachel does not believe in God… and I also can’t believe that you are saying that her sermon was not God-centred, nor that it did not spur people to go out to find the Zacchaeuses of the world to draw them into meeting Jesus.

    Or are you? It would be fascinating to hear your answers to these specific points rather than rambling about secondary issues.


  5. Graham,

    I was just stating a conversation with the bishop that I had, his word not mine. I have no idea if the clergy in this parish believe in God or the bible and its nothing to do with me whether they do or dont. The teachers will be judged James 3.

    I am not insinuating anything at all. God is doing alot around the world and people are ignoring what he is saying. If you want to hear more on that subject come to hear Jacob preach. He preaches around the world and knows what is happening.

    As for your last point, John 15 8

    Come and hear Jacob and you will be amazed at his teaching Mar 1 WI hall 7 45 you are both more than welcome. Take a look on http://www.radiofreechurch.com

    I would love to have a more in depth dicussion with you both regarding the all the above matters any time. just give me a call


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