And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.…
We have all read and heard of the "pursuit of knowledge under difficulties," and of the remarkable way in which these have often been overcome. The shepherd, with no apparatus save his thread and beads, has lain on his back on the starry night, mapped the heavens, and unconsciously become a distinguished astronomer. The peasant boy, with no tools save his rude knife, and a visit now and then to a neighbouring town, has begun his scientific education by producing a watch that could mark the time. The blind man, trampling upon impossibilities, has explored the economy of the beehive, and, more wondrous still, lectured on the laws of light. The timid stammerer, with pebbles in his mouth, and the roar of the sea-surge in his ear, has attained the correctest elocution, and swayed as one man the changeful tides of the mighty masses of the Athenian democracy. All these were expedients to master difficulties. And now notice the expedient which Zaccheus adopts to overcome his difficulties. Yonder, in the way where Jesus is to pass, is a sycamore-tree. It stands by the wayside. Its roots are thick and numerous, its girth is ample, its wide-spread arms may be called gigantic, its leaf resembles the mulberry, its fruit is like that of the fig — indeed it is a member of the fig family. An itinerant preacher in the backwoods once puzzled himself and his hearers with an elaborate criticism about this tree. He and his audience were familiar only with the sycamore of their fiat river bottoms, which are tall as a steeple, and smooth as hypocrisy. "Why," said the orator, "a squirrel can't climb them," and the conclusion reached was that the sycamore must have been a mulberry tree. But Dr. Thomson, who retails this anecdote, assures us that the sycamore is every way adapted to the purposes for which Zaccheus used it, for he saw one in which were a score of boys and girls, who could easily look down aport any crowd passing beneath. Zaccheus fixes his eye upon the sycamore in the distance. If he were upon one of its branches his object would be gained; but then he is not a boy. Besides, he is a rich man, and the chief amongst the publicans, and what will the people say if he climbs it to see Jesus of Nazareth? Yea, what will the boys say and do, who are perhaps on the tree already? There is a struggle going on within his bosom, but there is not a single moment to lose, for Jesus is coming. Regardless of what others may say, he beeches like a boy again; he runs to the tree and climbs it.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.