Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.—Luke 19:1-10.
City of palms! whose ancient name
Suggests a line of scarlet hue,
Type of thy glorious Guest who came
And passed with crowds thy borders through,
Did aught foretell that on that day,
The Lord of life would favor thee,
And centuries ring the novel way
A soul was made both glad and free?
Zacchaeus knew that through thy gates
Came One he oft had longed to see;
Alas! how adverse were the fates—
So dense the throng, so small was he!
Considering, he ran before
And climbed into a wayside tree,
And ever since the sycamore
Is blended with his history.
While peering eagerly below,
Above the tumult of the town
That soothing voice to mortal woe
Bade him to hasten quickly down.
“Come,” Jesus said, “I must abide
And tarry at thy house with thee.”
Zacchaeus the honor swift applied,
And entertained him joyfully.
The people frowned that Christ should dine
With a rich sinner publican,
Nor knew his act of grace would shine,
A star of hope, to fallen man.
Zacchaeus assured his royal guest,
“Lord, half my goods I give the poor;
And if I falsely have opprest,
Fourfold I unto men restore.”
His listener reads the human heart
And all its thoughts unerringly;
Alone such wisdom can impart
And judge of its sincerity.
Jesus received this sin-sick soul,
Salvation to his house was given;
And while time’s cycles onward roll,
His faith and works will point toward heaven.
“I came,” the Lord of glory said
(Nor did he count the pain and cost),
“To feed the hungry soul with bread,
To seek and save that which was lost.”