"WAS PASSING THROUGH"—
JESUS COMING TO THE SINNERS
Verse 1 says, "And He...was passing through Jericho." The words "passing through" are excellent. The Lord Jesus passed through Judea. He passed through Europe, Asia, Shanghai, and Wen-teh Li. Today, His Spirit is here. His name is here. We who believe in Him are also here. If you feel something moving within you, it means that He has come to you. Verse 1 says, "...was passing through." Here is a question of time. He was passing through. It does not say that He had passed through, or that He will pass through, but that He was then passing through.
There was a man whose name was Zaccheus. Perhaps you are that man. This man Zaccheus was a government officer. Yet he was not a clean officer, but a corrupt officer. He was a chief tax-collector. He was also a rich man. His social standing was not a noble one, for he was a chief tax-collector involved in extortion and bribery. Today, some people’s educational standings are not noble, for they only graduated from high school, yet they have received a college diploma through unrighteous means. These diplomas are not clean. Is your house clean? Is your social standing clean? Moreover, are you clean with respect to your marriage? How is your marriage life? If our lives were being investigated, none of us would be found noble. No one would be found clean, and no one would be found moral.
In this cursed city, there were not very many moral people. To say that there were not very many is too nice. Actually there were none. Where there are rich men, there is sin. Where there is money, there is sin. If you have not sinned, where did your money come from? This man made a lot of money, but spent very little. He might even be receiving money without spending anything at all. He was a traitor among the Jews. He would not sacrifice one single hair of his for others. He made himself rich through the power of Rome. If a man is not mean, he cannot be a rich man. All rich people are mean people. While others may be dying of hunger, they still hold tightly to their purse strings.
"SEEKING TO SEE JESUS"—
ALL THOSE COMING TO HIM AND
CALLING ON HIM BEING SAVED
Zaccheus was a small man. He was not tall. He was short, both morally and physically as well. He was afraid of seeing many things, but he was not afraid of seeing Jesus. When I was between twenty and twenty-one years old, I traveled once to Tsingtao. On the boat, some people were playing with a Ouija board. I wanted to take a look at it. But the people were afraid that I was a Christian and would not allow me to see it. Our Lord Jesus, however, is not afraid of being seen. He likes to be seen. He will not hide Himself away from anyone who comes to Him. If a man would come and see Jesus, His love, grace, and blessing will come to such a one.
In Peking, there was an old man who once said that Jesus was not as good as Buddha. Later we had a gospel meeting, and his relatives brought him to the meeting. After the meeting, the preacher prayed for the sick ones. Those who could not sit down were able to sit down after the preacher prayed, and those who could not stand were able to stand. This old man prayed to the Lord in his heart, "Although I am sick, I do not ask You to heal my sickness. I only ask You to forgive my sins." When he prayed this way, he was saved. After the meeting, he was walking on the street, and he heard traveling troupes singing. It was his favorite pastime. But that day when he heard that sound, he did not feel that his heart was drawn to it any longer. Later he began meeting with the brothers and sisters.
Zaccheus saw Jesus. Jesus was surrounded by many people, but Zaccheus was still able to see Him. Today, many people see only the backslidden Christians and those who do not have a proper testimony. They do not see Jesus. These people have been hindered by the surroundings.
Zaccheus was a dwarf. Today there are many dwarfs. If you cannot understand the Bible, it means that your spirit is dwarfed. Many people are spiritually deaf; they cannot hear God’s voice. Today, Jesus is here, yet you do not see Him, because your spirit is dead. The crowd who thronged around Him could not see Jesus. If you want to see Jesus, you have to "run on ahead." You have to call on Him by yourself. The first thing Zaccheus did was to run, and the second thing he did was to climb. The meaning of climbing is to overcome the difficulties in the circumstances and the natural environment. A Man called Jesus was there. Zaccheus had never seen Jesus before. If he had seen Him before, he would not have needed to see Him. Actually, if he wanted to know who Jesus was, he could just shout, "Who is Jesus? Please lift up your head." But strange to say, he did not call. On the contrary, Jesus lifted up His head and called to him, "Zaccheus!" Zaccheus was bewildered. How could this stranger know him? How Zaccheus was touched! The Lord Jesus said, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay in your house" (Luke 19:5).
How could the Lord say this? It is because He is God. He knows everything. No one who is willing to see Jesus will miss Him. If you see your own sins, and if you know that the Lord can deliver you out of your sins, and you call on Him, He will surely save you. If you come to Jesus, and if you behold Him and call on Him, you will surely meet Him within you.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 71, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)