Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»

Humble Hero, Page 254

The Little Man Who Became Important

This chapter is based on Luke 19:1-10.

The city of Jericho was surrounded by lush tropical plants and trees. Running springs watered it, and it gleamed like an emerald in the setting of limestone hills and desolate ravines. The city was a great center of commerce, and Roman officials and soldiers, with strangers from many places, were found there. The collection of customs on the transport of goods made it the home of many tax collectors.

The “chief tax collector,” Zacchaeus, was a Jew, and his countrymen detested him. His rank and wealth were the reward of a profession that they regarded as another name for injustice and extortion. Yet this wealthy customs officer was not entirely the hardened man that he seemed. Zacchaeus had heard of Jesus. The report had spread far and wide that He had treated society’s outcasts with kindness and courtesy. John the Baptist had preached at the Jordan, and Zacchaeus had heard of his call to repentance. Now, hearing the words reported to have come from the Great Teacher, he felt that he was a sinner in God’s sight. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart. Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even for him. Was not one of the new Teacher’s most trusted disciples a tax collector? Zacchaeus immediately began to follow the conviction that had taken hold of him and to make restitution to those he had wronged.

When the news spread through Jericho that Jesus was entering the town, Zacchaeus determined to see Him. The tax collector longed to look on the face of the One whose words had brought hope to his heart.

The streets were crowded, and Zacchaeus, who was small, could see nothing over the heads of the people. So, running a little ahead of the crowd to a wide-spreading fig tree, he climbed to a seat among the branches. As the procession passed below, Zacchaeus scanned the crowd eagerly to locate the one Person he longed to see.

Suddenly, just beneath the fig tree, the people came to a standstill, and One looked upward whose glance seemed to read his heart. Almost doubting his senses, the man in the tree heard Jesus say, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

Walking as if in a dream,

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»