A Sermon
Published on Thursday, November 25th, 1915.
Delivered by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.


Provided by
Spurgeon Ministries
Bath Road Baptist Church

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"And he made haste and came down,
and received him joyfully."
-- Luke 19:6

ARE you prepared, like Zaccheus, to give the Lord Jesus Christ a glad and grateful welcome? If we would obtain the full benefit of his devoted life, his atoning death, and his triumphant resurrection, we must receive him into our hearts by simple faith, and entertain him with tender love. Outside the door of our heart Jesus is a stranger; he is no Saviour to us; but inside the heart which has been opened, by divine grace, to admit him, his power is displayed, his worth is known, and his goodness is felt. My dear hearer, you have heard his fame, you have witnessed the miracles he has wrought upon others, and now it remains that you receive him yourself to ensure your own well-being. He stands at the door and knocks; you must open to him. The promise is, "If any man will open unto me, I will come in and sup with him." "To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." Not upon all who heard was the privilege conferred, for many, when they heard, did not believe. Alas! they provoked him, and so they perished in their sins. But those who hail Jesus as a friend salute him as an honoured guest, sit at his feet, and hang on his lips, find how he lights every chamber of their soul with joy, satisfies every craving of their better nature, and enriches them with all the endowments of adopted children.

In many respects Zaccheus supplies us with a noble example. He shows us how to receive the Saviour. You will observe that he received him speedily. "He made haste and came down." It is not always easy to come down from a tree with great speed. He came down, however, as fast as he could. There was no demur or hesitancy in his manner. I daresay his heart was down before his feet. In like manner they who would receive Christ must receive him now. This is not a call or a counsel to be trifled with. The procrastination of Felix, which led him to say, "When I have a more convenient season I will send for thee," is a very dangerous spirit. Let those who talked as Felix talked beware lest they perish as Felix perished. "Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Zaccheus made haste. They who receive Christ heartily must receive Christ immediately.

We notice, too, that Zaccheus received the Lord obediently. When the Master said, "Make haste," he made haste. Hardly had he said, "Come down," when down he came. If thou, my hearer, be likewise willing and obedient, thou shalt eat of the good of the land. Christ likes us to be obedient to him, though he speaks to us less as a Lawgiver than as a Saviour and a Friend. If we refuse to take his yoke upon us, and learn of him, how can we reasonably expect to find rest unto our souls? The words of Jesus must be deeply respected and diligently observed by those who would have him for their Rock, their Refuge, and their Hiding Place. Let him be your Councillor if you want to partake of his redemption. Render allegiance to him as your King, if you would enjoy all the grace of his priestly mediation and intercession.

There was also a thorough heartiness on the part of Zaccheus in receiving Christ. He made a great feast for him. He did not admit him as one who intruded. It was not with cold civility, but with cordial hospitality that he greeted him. I think I see the satisfaction that sparkled in his face! I think I hear the salutation that leaped from his tongue, "Come in--come in, my gracious Lord; never did my house entertain so welcome a guest as thou art!" Would you receive Christ, you must throw the doors of your heart wide open; then your eyes, your lips, every muscle of your body will express your earnestness. Your whole spirit, soul and strength will be stirred to enthusiasm if you know his worth, and feel the honour he confers on you. A man who findeth a treasure hid in a field will congratulate himself on his good fortune. A woman, when she embraceth her first-born child, will dote on him with exquisite fondness. Shall no strong emotions prove our sincerity when we receive the Lord of life and glory?

And mark you, too, this Chief of the Publicans received Christ spiritually. His convictions were in keeping with his conduct. When he distributed his goods to the poor, and made a bold confession of his faith before his fellow-men, there was proof positive that Christ had not only crossed the threshold of Zaccheus's house, but had also penetrated the chambers of his heart. Ah! beloved, it is useless to receive Christ nominally, professionally, ceremonially, or with rites and ceremonies, to do him empty homage. By a sincere reception of him who was sent of God, your nature, your disposition, and your habits will be transformed from what they were, and conformed to what he is; and the change will be conspicuous, for if ye be in Christ, and Christ be in you, all things will become new.

A prominent feature, however, so distinctly stated that it should not be carelessly overlooked was this, that he received him joyfully. This was crowning evidence of the purity of his motives, and the artlessness of his actions. In such mirth there could be no guile. Ask now, Why do not all men thus receive Jesus Christ joyfully? How is it that some men receive him with such exuberant joy? In what ways do those show their joy who have thus received the Master?

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This file from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit is provided to ICLnet and the internet community by the Bath Road Baptist Church, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The sermons are available in booklet form at the following address. There is no charge for this service:

Spurgeon Ministries

P.O. Box 1673
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