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Chapter 26 - The Lord leaves Jericho. Zacchaeus in the mulberry tree.
26,1. When we were together again, the innkeeper said to Me: “O Lord and Master, would You still not like to stay with us this afternoon.”
26,2. I said: “I have well provided you with all that you needed. Now remain in My teaching and act and live accordingly, then I also will be in you with My Spirit. However, with My body I have to leave now for the sake of the many poor, blind and dead. Besides, when I leave now and walk in the daytime through Jericho, many will recognize me anyway who will be walking before and after Me on My departure, which will cause a great sensation. If I would stay here this afternoon while many guests will arrive here, it would make My presence even more known. And this I do not want because of the temple servants who are here. That is why I will immediately leave this place with My disciples and go in the direction of Nahim.”
26,3. So after that, I said to the disciples that they had to prepare to leave.
26,4. So they did, and we were ready to move on. But because several helpers of the house heard it, they ran outside onto the square and said to the people that the famous Savior Jesus of Nazareth would soon leave the house, and more precisely in the direction of Nahim.
26,5. When the people heard that, they walked quite a distance on the way before us, and so the road was full with people and far beyond the big tollhouse of Zacchaeus who was the chief of the toll collectors, because all of them wanted to see in Me the Man about whom they had heard so many miraculous things.
26,6. The tollhouse of Zacchaeus was well over ½ hour walking outside of the city in the direction opposite to the one from which we came to Jericho. When Zacchaeus saw that many people from the city crowded on the road and beyond his tollhouse, he came out of his house and asked his people what was happening there.
26,7. Those to whom he asked said that I, the famous Savior Jesus of Nazareth in Galilee, would soon travel with My disciples along this road to Nahim and that they wanted to see Me.
26,8. When Zacchaeus heard that, he said: “Oh, all the more I have to see Him, for I have heard really great miraculous things about Him from my friend Kado, the old and the young one, and from his old servant Apollon, and also from a blind person who has been made seeing a few days ago by that Savior, and I felt terribly sorry that I could not see Him because immediately after His arrival in Jericho He went already the next morning to Essaea. But now that He will travel again through Jericho - even along this road - I must see Him, no matter what.”
26,9. But because the people were crowding more and more on the road, and our Zacchaeus, who was little of stature, noticed that he would hardly see Me through the crowd, he soon climbed in a mulberry tree and waited in this manner until I would come by.
26,10. While the people had already occupied the streets of the city and even more the big road and beyond the tollhouse because of Me, and I was still with My disciples in Kado’s front house - for I knew well how the all too servable house servants of Kado had made Me known without having received an order for it - I said to the innkeeper, who was still next to Me, what had happened there in a very short time, after which he promised Me to call his helpers severely to account.
26,11. But I advised him against it because the helpers had done it with good intentions. But I desired from the innkeeper that he would let us out through the back way, because there were too many people waiting for Me at the main entrance.
26,12. The innkeeper did so immediately, and so we went quite easily outside, unseen by the big crowd, through a narrow and seldom used street, and we took there a pathway that led to about 100 paces before the big tollhouse on the main road, and so we escaped the big crowding in the city as well as the greatest part of the main road from the city to the tollhouse.
26,13. When we came, as already mentioned, very near to the big tollhouse on the main road and I was recognized by a few people, there was soon a big noise, and many were jubilating aloud: “There He is, there He is, the great Savior of Nazareth! Hail to Him, and hail also to us because we came to see Him now!”
26,14. However, My disciples threatened the noisy people and commanded them to keep quiet.
26,15. But I rebuked them for their behavior towards the people and said: “I am the Lord. If I can bear the loud jubilation of the people, then you surely will be able to bear it also. Let always love and patience guide your steps, and never threats or domination, for it is indescribably more beautiful to be loved by the people than to be feared by them.”
26,16. When the disciples heard that from Me, they gave in, and we quietly continued our way, and so we soon came to the mulberry tree in which the little Zacchaeus, the chief of the toll collectors, was waiting for us.
26,17. When we came to the tree I stood still, looked up and said: “Zacchaeus, come now quickly out of the tree, for today I have to stay in your house.”
26,18. Then Zacchaeus climbed down from the tree and received Me and My disciples with the greatest of joy.
26,19. But when the people saw this, they soon began to grumble and said: “Oh look now to that Savior who says that He accomplishes His works through God’s Spirit. That must be a nice Spirit of God that enters the house of toll collectors, who are still the greatest sinners, and there He eats and drinks.”
26,20. Then the grumbling people began to disperse more and more.
26,21. However, when Zacchaeus noticed that the people made such remarks about Me, he was irritated about the people on account of Me. He came to Me and said loudly: “Look, o Lord, also without the testimony of the people I well know that I am a sinner, and so I am really not worthy that You, as very righteous One, want to stay with me, but because in Your great mercy You have looked upon me anyway and are giving me such a great and invaluable friendship, I want to give half of all my many goods to the poor. And should I have cheated someone, let him come and I will pay him back 4 times.”
26,22. When the people, who were still present in great numbers, heard that loud speech of Zacchaeus, they calmed down, because a few of the better ones said among each other: “Just look, a man who wants to do that and who also will do it, is not such a very great sinner. Because alms always make up for a great number of sins, and he who will pay back 4 times a certain good that he has appropriated himself in an unrighteous way to the one from whom he stole it, has redeemed the guilt against God and men, and thus we cannot account it as a mistake to the Savior when he enters the house of a sinner who wants to improve his life.”
26,23. But others, namely the poor, were already counting beforehand if by the dividing of the goods they would receive something from Zacchaeus, and how much. Again others considered also how they could go to Zacchaeus with false witnesses and prove to him that also they had been cheated by him for that and that much in that and that time and during that and that occasion, in order to receive 4 times as much back from him.
26,24. However, later in the house I pointed out all these things to Zacchaeus and advised him to be wise and careful, which he also faithfully did.
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