Ellen G. White Writings

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From Heaven With Love, Page 368

The streets were crowded, and Zacchaeus, who was small, could see nothing over the heads of the people. So, running a little in advance of the multitude to a wide-branching fig tree, he climbed to a seat among the boughs. As the procession passed below, Zacchaeus scanned with eager eyes to discern the one figure he longed to see.

Suddenly, just beneath the fig tree, the company came to a standstill, and One looked upward whose glance seemed to read the soul. Almost doubting his senses, the man in the tree heard the words, “Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.”

Zacchaeus, walking as in a dream, led the way toward his own home. But the rabbis, with scowling faces, murmured in scorn that “He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”

Zacchaeus had been overwhelmed at the condescension of Christ in stooping to him, so unworthy. Now love to his new-found Master unsealed his lips. He would make public his repentance. In the presence of the multitude, “Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”

Now the disciples had a demonstration of the truth of Christ's words, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27. They saw how, through the grace of God, a rich man could enter into the kingdom.

Before Zacchaeus had looked upon the face of Christ, he had confessed his sin. He had begun to carry out the teaching written for ancient Israel as well as for ourselves: “If your brother becomes poor, and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall maintain him; as a stranger and a sojourner he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or increase, but fear your God.”

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