And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.…
Our Saviour for the first time invited Himself to a man's house. Thus He proved the freeness and authority of His grace. "I am found of them that sought Me not" (Isaiah 65:1.) We ought rather to invite Him to our houses. We should at least cheerfully accept His offer to come to us. Perhaps at this hour He presses Himself upon us. Yet we may feel ourselves quite as unlikely to entertain our Lord as Zaccheus seemed to be. He was a man —
1. In a despised calling — a publican, or tax-collector.
2. In bad odour with respectable folk.
3. Rich, with the suspicion of getting his wealth wrongly.
4. Eccentric, for else he had hardly climbed a tree.
5. Excommunicated because of his becoming a Roman tax-gatherer.
6. Not at all the choice of society in any respect.To such a man Jesus came; and He may come to us even if we are similarly tabooed by our neighbours, and are therefore disposed to fear that He will pass us by.
I. LET US CONSIDER THE NECESSITY WHICH PRESSED UPON THE SAVIOUR TO ABIDE IN THE HOUSE OF ZACCHEUS. He felt an urgent need of —
1. A sinner who needed and would accept His mercy.
2. A person who would illustrate the sovereignty of His choice.
3. A character whose renewal would magnify His grace.
4. A host who would entertain Him with hearty hospitality.
5. A case which would advertise His gospel (vers. 9 and 10).
II. LET US INQUIRE WHETHER SUCH A NECESSITY EXISTS IN REFERENCE TO OURSELVES. We can ascertain this by answering the following questions, which are suggested by the behaviour of Zaccheus to our Lord: —
1. Will we receive Him this day? "He made haste."
2. Will we receive Him heartily? "Received Him joyfully."
3. Will we receive Him whatever others say? "They all murmured."
4. Will we receive Him as Lord? "He said, Behold, Lord."
5. Will we receive Him so as to place our substance under the control of His laws? (Verse 8.) If these things be so, Jesus must abide with us. He cannot fail to come where He will have such a welcome.
III. LET US FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT NECESSITY INVOLVES. If the Lord Jesus comes to abide in our house —
1. We must be ready to face objections at home.
2. We must get rid of all in our house which would be objectionable to Him. Perhaps there is much there which He would never tolerate.
3. We must admit none who would grieve our heavenly Guest. His friendship must end our friendship with the world.
4. We must let Him rule the house and ourselves, without rival or reserve, henceforth and for ever.
5. We must let Him use us and ours as instruments for the further spread of His kingdom.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.