And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.…
I. THE CHARACTER OF ZACCHEUS. A Hebrew name with a Greek termination, signifying "pure." A man may have a noble ancestry and an ignoble calling — a good name and a bad reputation. There is an important difference between a man's reputation and a man's character. Reputation is what men say about us, character is what a man is.
1. We may learn from this verse something about Zaccheus's social standing. "He was the chief among the publicans." Some men are exposed to special temptations from the positions they hold. A dishonest calling blunts our finest sensibilities, hardens our heart, and degrades our whole nature.
2. We may learn from this verse something about Zaccheus's secular position. "And he was rich."
II. THE CURIOSITY OF ZACCHEUS. Curiosity, which is commonly regarded as a dangerous disposition, is natural to man, and may be serviceable in the most sacred pursuits. It excites inquiry, it stimulates research, and it leads to the solution of many of the dark problems of life.
1. In this case curiosity awakened an earnest desire to see Jesus.
2. In this case curiosity overcame the difficulties that were in the way of seeing Jesus.
III. THE CALLING OF ZACCHEUS.
1. This was a personal call. Christ not only knew his name, but his nature. He knew the place he occupied, and the thoughts he cherished.
2. This was an urgent call. "Zaccheus, make haste, and come down." The coming of Christ is unexpected, and His stay brief. He is passing to-day, and may have passed to-morrow. What we have to do must be done quickly.
3. This was an effectual call. "And he made haste, and came down." What a mighty energy there is in the word of Christ! At His word the blind received their sight, and the dead started to life again.
IV. THE CONVERSION OF ZACCHEUS. "This day is salvation come to thy house." Personal contact with Christ ensures special blessing from Christ. When Christ is present with us, there will be light in the eye, music in the voice, and gladness in the heart.
1. This was a present salvation.
(1) What a marvellous change was wrought in his character! The dishonest man became honest, the selfish man became generous, and the sinful man became righteous.
(2) What a glorious change was wrought in his service! Instead of living for self, he began to live for the Saviour; instead of seeking the things of time, he began to seek the things of eternity.
2. This was a practical salvation. "And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor." This is a splendid liberality. He does not give a tenth, not a fifth, but the half. He does not say I will leave at my decease, but I give during my lifetime. When Christ comes to abide in a rich man's house, he will open his heart to give to the poor.
(J. T. Woodhouse, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.