Devotional Readings

Today I Must Abide at Thy House

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10.

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich” (Luke 19:1, 2).

Jericho was known for its publicans and its tax collectors. It was the place where a Jewish man could turn traitor to his own people, give up to the Romans, and thereby make a good living. It was a place where a man could become rich, because he was given a portion of his collections. And if his collections were greater, so was his portion, and if his dividing of the portion was fraudulent, so was his increase in riches. So it was with Zacchaeus, chief among the publicans.

Zacchaeus had heard that Jesus was coming to town. Already Jesus had sent His Spirit before Him. And the heart of Zacchaeus had been touched. He was desperately concerned with the possibility of seeing this Man from Nazareth, and the Bible says he wanted to see who He was. Who He was. It doesn’t say he wanted to see what He did, or what He said; he wanted to see who He was. He was interested in getting to the heart of the matter. It’s one thing to know something about what Jesus said; it’s another thing to know who He is.

“And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature” (verse 3). Imagine seeing this man Zacchaeus, who ordinarily would walk with all of his five-foot dignity down the streets of Jericho with as much composure as possible, running for a tree with the street urchins. Obviously, in seeking Jesus he had forgotten himself.

“When Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully” (verses 5, 6).

In inviting Himself to Zacchaeus’ house, Jesus was simply accepting the invitation that had already gone out from the heart of this publican. He was meeting him where he was; He was making it easy for him to come down out of his tree not only physically but spiritually, and to find the solution to his great problem.

from Faith that Works
Morris Venden | Review & Herald (2000)
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