1Jesus was going through the city of Jericho. 2In Jericho there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a wealthy, very important tax collector. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was. There were many others who wanted to see Jesus too. Zacchaeus was too short to see above the people. 4So he ran to a place where he knew Jesus would come. Then he climbed a sycamore tree so he could see him.
5When Jesus came to where Zacchaeus was, he looked up and saw him in the tree. Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, hurry! Come down! I must stay at your house today.”
6Zacchaeus hurried and came down. He was happy to have Jesus in his house. 7Everyone saw this. They began to complain, “Look at the kind of man Jesus is staying with. Zacchaeus is a sinner!”
8Zacchaeus said to the Lord, “I want to do good. I will give half of my money to the poor. If I have cheated anyone, I will pay them back four times more.”
9Jesus said, “Today is the day for this family to be saved from sin. Yes, even this tax collector is one of God’s chosen people.#19:9 one of God’s chosen people Literally, “a son of Abraham.” 10The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.”
Use What God Gives You
(Mt. 25:14–30)
11As the crowd listened to what he was saying, Jesus went on to tell a story. He was now near Jerusalem and knew that the people thought it was almost time for God’s kingdom to come. 12So he said, “A very important man was preparing to go to a country far away to be made a king. Then he planned to return home and rule his people. 13So he called ten of his servants together. He gave a bag of money#19:13 bag of money One bag of money was a Greek mina, enough to pay a person for working three months. Also in verses 16, 18, 20, 24, 25. to each servant. He said, ‘Do business with this money until I come back.’ 14But the people in the kingdom hated the man. They sent a group to follow him to the other country. There they said, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
15“But the man was made king. When he came home, he said, ‘Call those servants who have my money. I want to know how much more money they earned with it.’ 16The first servant came and said, ‘Sir, I earned ten bags of money with the one bag you gave me.’ 17The king said to him, ‘That’s great! You are a good servant. I see that I can trust you with small things. So now I will let you rule over ten of my cities.’
18“The second servant said, ‘Sir, with your one bag of money I earned five bags.’ 19The king said to this servant, ‘You can rule over five cities.’
20“Then another servant came in and said to the king, ‘Sir, here is your bag of money. I wrapped it in a piece of cloth and hid it. 21I was afraid of you because you are a hard man. You even take money that you didn’t earn and gather food that you didn’t grow.’
22“Then the king said to him, ‘What a bad servant you are! I will use your own words to condemn you. You said that I am a hard man. You said that I even take money that I didn’t earn and gather food that I didn’t grow. 23If that is true, you should have put my money in the bank. Then, when I came back, my money would have earned some interest.’ 24Then the king said to the men who were watching, ‘Take the bag of money away from this servant and give it to the servant who earned ten bags of money.’
25“The men said to the king, ‘But sir, that servant already has ten bags of money.’
26“The king said, ‘People who use what they have will get more. But those who do not use what they have will have everything taken away from them. 27Now where are my enemies? Where are the people who did not want me to be king? Bring my enemies here and kill them. I will watch them die.’”
Jesus Enters Jerusalem Like a King
(Mt. 21:1–11; Mk. 11:1–11; Jn. 12:12–19)
28After Jesus said these things, he continued traveling toward Jerusalem. 29He came near Bethphage and Bethany, towns near the hill called the Mount of Olives. He sent out two of his followers. 30He said, “Go into the town you can see there. When you enter the town, you will find a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it, and bring it here to me. 31If anyone asks you why you are taking the donkey, you should say, ‘The Master needs it.’”
32The two followers went into town. They found the donkey exactly like Jesus told them. 33They untied it, but its owners came out. They said to the followers, “Why are you untying our donkey?”
34The followers answered, “The Master needs it.” 35So the followers brought the donkey to Jesus. They put their coats on its back. Then they put Jesus on the donkey. 36He rode along the road toward Jerusalem. The followers spread their coats on the road before him.
37Jesus was coming close to Jerusalem. He was already near the bottom of the Mount of Olives. The whole group of followers was happy. They were very excited and praised God. They thanked God for all the powerful things they had seen. 38They said,
“‘Welcome! God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord.’ Psalm 118:26
Peace in heaven and glory to God!”
39Some of the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell your followers not to say these things.”
40But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if my followers didn’t say them, these stones would shout them.”
Jesus Cries for Jerusalem
41Jesus came near Jerusalem. Looking at the city, he began to cry for it 42and said, “I wish you knew today what would bring you peace. But it is hidden from you now. 43A time is coming when your enemies will build a wall around you and hold you in on all sides. 44They will destroy you and all your people. Not one stone of your buildings will stay on top of another. All this will happen because you did not know the time when God came to save you.”
Jesus Goes to the Temple
(Mt. 21:12–17; Mk. 11:15–19; Jn. 2:13–22)
45Jesus went into the Temple area. He began to throw out the people who were selling things there. 46He said, “The Scriptures say, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer.’#Quote from Isa. 56:7. But you have changed it into a ‘hiding place for thieves.’#Quote from Jer. 7:11.
47Jesus taught the people in the Temple area every day. The leading priests, the teachers of the law, and some of the leaders of the people wanted to kill him. 48But they did not know how they could do it, because everyone was listening to him. The people were very interested in what Jesus said.