Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of.”
Like a brave captain the Lord led the way, and like brave followers his disciples, despite their fears, kept close to their leader. It is well if, when we experience any alarm, we have faith enough still to press forward where Jesus points out the road.
The Lord was very explicit, and gave more of the details of his sufferings and death than he had ever mentioned before. He was very familiar with his friends, and told them all things; he was very honest with them, and plainly warned them of the evils which would happen to him, lest they should follow him with mistaken expectations. Jesus familiarised his disciples with his death before it happened, and much more would he now have it before our minds, since its bitterness is past, and the fruits of it are surpassingly precious.
He would not grant them a request thus put to him in the dark. He wisely allowed them to go on with their suit, that, upon further consideration, they might be made ashamed of it.
When he should take his kingdom, they desired to be the first peers in his realm. Not, perhaps, because they wished to be above their brethren, but because they loved him so well that they desired to be very near and dear to him, and to enjoy the same distinguished position which he had in some measure given to them already, when with Peter they had formed a favoured trio upon the mount of transfiguration.
Our ignorance of ten shows itself in our prayers. We ask for a crown when we ought to pray for grace to bear our cross.
This was very natural, but it did not last long. Partly through the influence of our Lord’s words, and partly through the humble and loving conduct of these two gracious brethren, all jealousy subsided, and we do not detect even a trace of it in the after history of the apostles.
shall be your minister or servant
In the church of God, he is greatest who renders most service, and is willing to take the lowest place for the good of the rest. Those who are really eminent have to work harder and endure far more reproach than their less honoured brethren, and so it should be, since thus it was with our Lord.
He gave up all and took the lowest service for our sakes; thus teaching his followers not to look for honour or service from their fellow Christians, but to stand ready to be the servants of all. Lord, teach us to serve, and save us from the pride which would expect others to pay us homage.
Today I must abide at thy house.”
Here was sovereign, free, effectual grace. Jesus sought the heart which else would never have sought him. The eternal purpose had rendered it necessary that Zacchæus should be saved; there was a divine must in the way, and therefore called and saved he was, though apparently one of the most unlikely of converts.
Oh that each one of us might with equal willingness receive Jesus, who is now calling us to himself. May the mighty word of everlasting love make us willing in the day of its power.
Not only the Pharisees, but others also were astonished at the Saviours visit to this member of the tax-collecting band, for the publicans were despised and hated by all their countrymen. Free grace thus delights to astonish men by choosing and calling the base things of this world.
Thus he gave evidence of a change of heart by a change of way. Restitution is first due to all whom we may have wronged, and then, over and above that, charity to the poor becomes our duty. Zacchæus attended to both obligations, he was just as well as generous. Thus by his righteous and liberal conduct he cleared the Saviour from all charges of conniving at sin. The Lord had not winked at his conduct, but had made him repent of it, and for ever turn from it, to become an honourable man.
A publican was looked upon as a lost man, who had forfeited his privileges as a son of Abraham; but Jesus restored the lost one, and raised him to a higher position than that which he had occupied by birth. Sin has not lost us so much as Jesus gives us.
Though he could not see, he could hear and speak, and he earnestly used what power he had. Some who are unsaved neglect the use of the means which are within their power, and do not ask for salvation.
When a soul is really anxious it cannot refrain from prayer. It must and will cry for mercy.
He cared no more for his old cloak, he expected to receive his sight. The hope of mercy makes all other things seem trivial.
How quick the cure. The man believed and prayed, and Jesus spake the healing word. Exercise such faith each one of you, and the like healing shall be yours.