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Jesus Christ and Zacchaeus.

Jesus Christ and Zacchaeus.

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LUKE 19:1-10

LUKE 19:1-10

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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JESUS CHRIST AD ZACCHAEUS.BY JOSEPH PARKER LUKE 19:1-10"And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, therewas a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, andhe was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not forthe press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbedup into a sycomore tree to see him : for he was to pass that way. Andwhen Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said untohim, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down ; for to-day I must abide at thyhouse. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone tobe guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said untothe Lord ; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor ; and if 1 have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore himfourfold. And Jesus faid unto him, This day is salvation come to thishouse, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man iscome to seek and to save that which was lost.**YOU may build God out of cities, or you may throw openthe city gates and bid him welcome with all reverence andthankfulness. You cannot build him out with common masonry.He can crumble our rocky walls to pieces, and drive the plough-share through the foundations of our fortreftes; he can touchthe mountains, and they will go up before him as the smoke of incense; wherever mere power b required, God can break usdown by a stroke. How then, you will say, is it possible tobuild God out of the city ? I answer, by corrupt institutions, bydepraved laws, by tricks of trade, by knavery and fraud, byselfish dispositions and oppressive usages, by forgery, by unjustbalances, by defective measures, by practical lying, by false-heartedness, it is possible to build God out of a dty morethoroughly than he could be excluded by the most elaboratemasonry. Ancient Jericho attempted to enclose herself withinsolid walls, but men appointed by God threw down all herboasted defences. Can anything resist the thunder of the marchwhich is commanded by God ? When men walk according to379
38o THE PEOPLE'S BIBLE. [Lukexix.2.the divine order, when they step in harmony with the rhythm of the divine movement, they overturn the rocks, and cast themountains into the sea. Yet, alasl there is a region in whichOmnipotence itself is weakness : even a child can shut the doorof its heart against God, and Almightiness may be defied by anevil will I Jericho was favoured of God in exceeding measure — bountifully supplied with water, having a tropical climate, herpalm trees equalling the palms of Egypt, rich with fruits, spices,and perfumes, growing in abundance the sweet-smelling camphireand the balm of Gilead ; yet, while the beasts of the field, thedragons and the owls honoured the Most High, she departedfrom her Maker, and praised not the goodness of her Lord. Shetrusted in her walls, and confided in the strength of her arm,until God smote her by the breath of his mouth I Gladly do wecome to the words before us, as marking a new era in the annalsof Jericho. And Jesus is passing through our own city to-day;and, busy as we are with the claims of daily life, we may seehis beauty and leam his will." And, behold, there was a man named Zaccheeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich ** (ver. 2).A whole paragraph devoted to the delineation of one man'slife, whilst so many great subjects are hardly touched upon in theChristian Scriptures. Yet let us not complain of what looks tous like the capriciousness and incompleteness of divine revela-tion, for in these portrayals of individuals, we have not only themost practical aspects of the Christian faith, but we get nearerto God than would otherwise have been possible. When we seeJesus Christ face to face with an individual sinner, we see thewhole scheme of redemption as it were in miniature; and wehave the advantage of concentration; our minds are not dis-tracted by the bewilderment which is occasioned by a vast scaleof operation ; everything is brought to a point ; and to us isgiven the benefit of the conciseness of individuality. Does notone man require in his own experience the whole scheme of divine redemption? Is it not with this as with the light, theatmosphere, and the whole mechanism of the world? Werethere but one man upon the globe, he would as much requirethe sun, the summer, the harvest, as do the millions who now
Lukexix.3.] JESUS CHRIST AD ZACCHJEUS. 381exist upon it We shall see God's love perhaps more vividlydisplayed, because more intensely concentrated, in the case of one man than when applied to the necessities of the whole world.Each man should have a paragraph of Christian history speciallyhis own. Is your life to be found in Christian history? Canyou point to any record of a personal interview with the Saviour?Blessed are you whose lives are part of a great unwritten Bible,which is continually before God."And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press,he was litde of stature ** (ver. 3).Let me take out of this verse three words which set forth thehighest object of human life ; these three words are — ** To seeJesus " 1 Zacchaeus sought to see him through natural curiosity,yet such curiosity may be turned to the highest uses ; Zacchaeussought only to see the Man, but in the end he saw the Saviour;he desired to see a wonder, and in the end he was made intoa wonder himself. So it is evermore, — a man is made eitherinfinitely better or infinitely worse by coming into contact withJesus Christ ; the Gospel kills or makes alive. This man founda difiiculty in attempting to realise his wish. Is it not so withsome of us who are listening to this st6ry to-day? Zacchaeuswas little; every man is little somewhere. The signature of defect is upon every character; we cannot write a completebiography of any man without having to use this word little, inone relation or another. Men are truly little when they arelittle in spiritual force, in moral sympathy and tender-heartedness,in appreciation of objects that are noble, progressive, sublime.Any other littleness is but a trivial defect; this is a mortalblemish. Hear how the descriptive words go in the case of Zacchaeus — chief, rich, little! It is possible for a man to readhis life in this fashion, and to complain that it has been set on adescending scale; but it is also possible to reverse the order of these epithets, and so to get a more inspiring view of life. Hewill then say, not chief, rich, little, but little, rich, chief 1 Takecare how you read your life I Some lives may be read thus — little, less, nothing! If we look at those who are higher thanourselves, we may become censorious critics of the divine way ;but if we make ourselves familiar with those who are in the

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