And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.…
I shall give you a division which you will not be able to forget, or if you do forget it, you will have nothing to do but simply to turn to the Bible, and look at the text, and the punctuation will give you the heads.
I. Look, then, at the first word, "ZACCHEUS." Christ addresses this man by name; He saw him before he went up into the sycamore, and he had not been long there when He called out to him, "Make haste and come down." Oh! but some people say that ministers have no business to be so personal. Well, my friends, they are very unlike their Master, the great model Preacher, if they are not personal.
II. Take the next two words for our second head — "MAKE HASTE." We are told in the sequel that Zaccheus did not halt between two opinions, but came down quickly and received Christ joyfully. If you, my unconverted hearer, will listen to me, what I wish to say to you is this — make haste and come to Jesus, for you will never find a more favourable opportunity than the present. Wait ten thousands, years, and your sins will not be fewer; God's mercy will not be greater. The fool who, wishing to cross a river, lay down on its bank till the water would run past, is only a faint emblem of you, if you delay. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." That clock says "now"; this pulse says "now"; this heart says "now." The glorified in heaven and the lost in hell, the one by their songs, the other by their wails, together cry, "Make haste." But, once more, make haste, for your salvation may soon become extremely difficult. Sin is like a fire, it may soon be quenched if the cold water engines are brought to play upon it in time; but let it burn on a few hours, and perhaps a city is laid in ashes. Sin is like a river, the further from the fountain-head the greater the volume, the more rapid and irresistible the current. Sin is like a tree: look at your sapling, your infant's arm may bend it: let a few years pass away, a few summers shine upon it, and a few winters blow upon it, and that tree will hurl defiance at the loudest storm. So with the sinner: he gets accustomed to all the appeals, and becomes gospel proof. Again, make hasten your salvation may become extremely difficult, if not altogether impossible. Man is a bundle of habit, and habit becomes second nature. You ask, "How long may a man live on in sin, and yet be saved?" I reply, Do not try the experiment — it is a very dangerous one. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Make haste, and learn that He has suffered for you what you deserved as a sinner, and obeyed for you what you owed as a creature. This may be your last opportunity.
III. Look, now, at the last three words, and you will find our third head: "AND COME DOWN." Zaccheus was upon one of the many branches of the sycamore; and you, my unsaved friend, are upon one of the many branches of the great, mighty-spreading, world-embracing tree of human corruption, and I call upon you in the name of my Master to "come down." Now, I wish to be charitable, but I do solemnly declare that I cannot find the branch of atheism, even on the tree of human corruption. At all events, if there be such a branch, I hesitate not to say it is the rottenest one on the whole tree. Come down from it! Then there are other branches: scepticism, drunkenness, pride, etc.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.