80 The declaration of the Lord

Luke 19:1-10
Ezekiel 34:15-16
Ⅰ A rich tax-gatherer

"And He entered and was passing through Jericho." (1) Though it was at the time that Bartimaeus has spend a night of anguish, Luke incorporated this as the teachings of ninth to the disciples at here, because it was also the independent event on the way to Jerusalem. From here also, I expect to hear his new message.

"And behold, there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; and he was a chief tax-gatherer; and he was rich. And he was trying to see who Jesus was, and he was unable because of the crowd, for he was small stature. And he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way." (2-4) A incredibly big mansions was in Jericho. I got tired on foot along the fence once, but that wall was still following. On the other hand, the small poorness huts with mud had lined up, too. It would have been a similar town at that time. From that contrast, we can realize that "the rich tax-gatherers" would had rolled up the money from "the poor people", in unfair means. The tax-gatherers are collection people who has been commissioned to pay taxes to Rome; but Rome did not wait to receive the tax until the complete the collection. The people who should pay to Rome before the tax deadline, it is a tax-gatherers, not a people, because it was commissioned. So, not to hurt their own wallet, they have squeezed in a little too much from anyone; it was common. Among such people, it is thought that people of "particularly rich" would have done the thing more vicious than general tax-gatherers.


Ⅱ The one who was permitted the fellowship with the Lord

Because Zacchaeus was a chief tax-gatherers of the customs of Jericho; he would have been a person of miser basis even more. People of the town called him a "sinner" (7). Would it be the sense that watched a thief or a robber? The news that Jesus came to Jericho reached to the ears of such Zacchaeus. Why has he want to see Jesus, even ​​a glance?, nothing is talked about it, but because he was going to see Jesus and to climb a tree, probably, it would have been a serious thing for him. Sycamore (it is not a fig tree) is a large tree that is also 15 meters, and the thick figure which posted a branch on every direction is a great place that you can hear the state of around without being noticed in people.

When Jesus came on the approaching there, Zaccheus climbed the fig tree mulberry that was in the road. Would had Jesus seen it? He stopped at the foot under the tree, and said. "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house." (5) This part of latter half has various translations and it is interesting to compare it. ... It seems to be able to take consideration into the strong will of Jesus that "I will do so".

Zaccheus climbed to the tree, surely Jesus would have known it, it was to see Him. Jesus knew his named Zaccheus. Why? Commentators do not say so far, as "Luke is not telling anything". Probably, it will be marginal. However, if we want to listen to the message of the Bible, isn't it possible to imagine the spread of there to us? Without having to pry a fine thing, He knew his name Zaccheus. Why had Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus until climbing the tree? And, what had he wanted to listen from Jesus? "Jesus had known it"; it was enough by itself. Luke would has superimposed us to Zaccheus. "Our Lord knows us well", we can hear such a message.

Zacchaeus was a great joy to hear that Jesus will come and stay at his home. He came down in great haste from the tree that would have climbed to avoid being noticed by anyone. Does it not indicate that he has changed? In front of the One who knows well of himself, he does not have to have hidden himself anymore. He does not need to be ashamed even in his all. People of the city did not allow fellowship to him, but the One who is the Messiah has allowed it. He parted from his past, and has been changed into a new one.


Ⅲ The declaration of the Lord

People of the town would came after Zaccheus who guided Jesus to the vast mansion; but they did not enter in its mansion, and muttered to each other. "He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." (7) They did not understand that Zacchaeus was varied. Among them, there seemed to be people who have changed with also Zaccheus, and they were praising the Lord with His disciples (8:43); but, most people was the same as when they taught "Jesus of Nazareth" to Bartimaeus (8:37). They came in droves after Jesus, but did not try to know anything about Jesus. Probably, they wanted a Messiah as a hero who will be able to change the Jewish society which had closed and confused, in Jesus. They thought when Jesus build a new Messiah kingdom, He would be able to eliminate poverty of their own.

However, Zaccheus was not so. From the words that "for he was small in stature", perhaps, the original testimony of this article would be Zaccheus himself. If I inflate imagination a little more; would he has been made a fool of by people for it?, and would he had rebelled against such Jewish community and chosen to become a man tax-gatherer of Rome? "For he was small in stature", it is felt a strong impact enough to think his whole life is being put in there. So, he does not show any interest in the Jewish community. For him, Jesus was not the One who is a king to build out a new kingdom, but He was the One who feel God that was far away from him. Because, Jesus was the Messiah. Such One has recognized him who was so rebellious! He was glad only for it. Would Zaccheus have heard the mutters of people of the town? He said. "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." (8) That he is trying will be much more than the provisions of the law of these cases. Numbers says, "Then he shall confess his sins which he has committed, and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong, and add to it one-fifth of it, and give to him whom he has wronged." (5:7) So, we will find that the four times which Zaccheus said was not the thing which bound to the law provisions.

Full of joy found by Jesus, he offered a hearty thing so much. From the word of "Zaccheus stopped", his joy like jumping up would come through. The words of Jesus following was appropriate. "Today salvation has come to this house , because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (9-10) This was the declaration of Jesus. Zaccheus has given up, and was rebellious to God; however, how has he wished to be called so? Bartimaeus was same, too. Don't we want to hear that declaration from the Lord, too? Because, Bartimaeus and Zaccheus are also us.




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