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Q. “Eva” writes, “And Zaccheus stood and said unto the Lord, Behold, the half of my goods I give unto the poor: and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Luke 18:8, 98I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? 9And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: (Luke 18:8‑9)). Do you think this the language of self-righteousness, or of a heart touched by the grace of God?
A. It is plainly the language of a benevolent and conscientious heart, without the knowledge of salvation, which the Lord brought that day to Zaccheus house. The tone of Zaccheus is as different as possible from that of the self-righteous Pharisee who “stood and prayed with himself,” in Luke 18:11, 1211The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (Luke 18:11‑12). Here was the case of a man who was truly in earnest. Neither his diminutive stature nor the crowd around the Lord were suffered to hinder him. (Would that we might see many as truly in earnest as the blind beggar and Zaccheus!) The Lord Jesus, the good Shepherd, calls his own sheep by name. He said “Zaccheus, make haste and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house.”
Zaccheus tells the Lord what had been the habitual practice of “an honest and good heart”; but still, however blessed to see human righteousness where it exists, there was no recognition of this when it was the question of bringing salvation to him — “This day is salvation come to this house. For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”