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§ 237. Christ Ledges with Zaccheus. (Luke, xix., 2, seq.)

The healing of the blind man heightened the rejoicing of the multitude. But Jesus went with them no further; perhaps the caravan wished to reach Jerusalem on the same day.638638   It was but a short distance from Jericho to Jerusalem; and we know neither at what point Christ joined the caravan, nor how far it had journeyed that day, nor what time of the day it was. In the suburbs of Jericho lived a rich publican, named Zaccheus, who probably knew Christ by the reports of other publicans. Being of short stature, he climbed a tree, in order to see Christ when the procession passed by. Ever ready to welcome the dawning of better feelings in the hearts of sinners, the Saviour looked up, and said, “Zaccheus,639639   Whether he had known Zaccheus before, or was informed of his name by the by standers, is of no moment. The Evangelist does not intimate that he made use of his supernatural knowledge in calling the man by name.make haste and come down, for to-day I must abide at thy house.” The love with which Christ met his desire affected him more deeply than any thing else could have done; his heart was won; and in the fulness of his joy he vowed to prove his repentance by dividing half of his property among the poor, and remunerating four-fold all whom he had overreached. It surprised many that He, who was recognized as Theocratic king, 347should go to “be guest with a man that was a sinner.” With reference to this feeling Christ said, “This day is salvation640640   He had become convinced of sin, and received the bringer of salvation with repentance and love. come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”641641   Schleiermacher thinks (ii., 174) that this occurred on the second day, after the affair had become generally known. We see no sufficient ground for this supposition. It appears from the whole narrative that the murmurs of the people, and the words of Zaccheus. arose from an immediate impression. The word σήμερον (Luke, xix., 9), and its relation to σήμερον (v. 5), speaks in favour of our view. Schleiermacher seems to lay too much stress on ἀκούοντων (v. 11). And this was only an application to a particular case of the general truth, that it was his mission to restore again the image of God that had been defaced in humanity.

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