Zacchaseus

[Original article in German]

WE read in Luke's Gospel that Jesus, when journeying to Jerusalem, passed through Jericho. The rumor of his remarkable and wonderful healings, his holiness and uprightness, as well as the fame of his sermons, which moved heart and soul, had preceded him; for he spoke "not as the scribes" — but as never man spoke before. Hence the town was on its feet, and everyone wanted to see with his own eyes the great prophet whom God had sent to His people Israel. No doubt many of them secretly hoped that Christ Jesus was the Messiah who was to free the Jewish nation from Roman government and bring it to honor and power.

"And, behold, there was a man named Zacchseus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature." His intense desire to see Jesus caused him to forget his position and his riches, and he ran forward like one of the poorest and lowliest, and climbed, like a boy, "up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way." And Zacchseus was very fortunate, for, "when Jesus came to the place, he looked up," and saw the man gazing at him, the man who, in his heart, undoubtedly had the humble and yearning desire to hear the Master speak, and to be with him for a little while. Evidently the Master saw what was taking place in this man's heart. With the wonderful intuition peculiar to him, he read this man's thoughts, perceived his reverence, his spiritual Zeal, and said to him, "Zacchseus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house." And Zacchseus "made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully." Later on he said to the Master, "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 restore him fourfold."

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