Jesus and Zacchaeus
1On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus had to pass through Jericho. 2There lived a very wealthy man named Zacchaeus, # 19:2 The name Zacchaeus means “pure.” who supervised all the tax collectors. 3He was very eager to see Jesus and kept trying to get a look at him through the massive crowd. Since Zacchaeus was a short man and couldn’t see over the heads of the people, 4he ran on ahead of everyone and climbed up a blossoming fig tree # 19:4 This was a sturdy sycamore-fig tree that was known to reach over forty feet high. The Aramaic text calls it a “tree in bloom.” to get a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by.
5When Jesus got to that place, he looked up into the tree and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry on down, for I must # 19:5 Although they had never met, Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ name. This was a “word of revelation knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8).” The Aramaic text states, “It is my duty to stay at your house.” It is likely that Jesus spent the night in Zacchaeus’ home. stay at your house today!”
6So he scurried down the tree and found himself face-to-face with Jesus.
7As Jesus left to go with Zacchaeus, many in the crowd complained, “Look at this! Of all the people to have dinner # 19:7 The Aramaic states “dinner after the fast.” with, he’s going to eat in the house of a crook.”
8Zacchaeus was amazed over his gracious visit to his home and joyously welcomed Jesus. # 19:8 This is supplied from v. 6, stated here for the sake of the narrative. Zacchaeus stood in front of the Lord and said, “Half of all that I own I will give to the poor. And Lord, if I have cheated anyone, I promise to pay them back four times as much as I stole.” # 19:8 Jewish laws for restitution required repayment of a multiple of what was stolen. See 2 Sam. 12:6, where King David decrees a fourfold restitution.
9Jesus said to him, “Your repentance shows that today life # 19:9 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek text is “salvation.” Notice that Jesus describes himself as both “life” and “Son of Man.” He is both divine and human. has come to you and your household, and that you are a true son of Abraham. 10The Son of Man has come to seek out and to give life to those who are lost.” # 19:10 This is a quotation taken from Ezek. 34:16. Notice that Jesus describes himself as both “life” and “Son of Man.” He is both divine and human.
The Parable of a Prince and His Servants
11At this time Jesus was getting close to entering Jerusalem. The crowds that followed him were convinced that God’s kingdom would fully manifest when Jesus established it in Jerusalem. 12So he told them this story to change their perspective:
“Once a wealthy prince left his province to travel to a distant land, where he would be crowned king and then return. 13Before he departed he summoned his ten servants together and charged them, ‘I am entrusting each of you with fifty thousand dollars # 19:13 Literally “ten minas.” to invest while I am away. Trade with it and put the money to work until I return.’
14“Some of his countrymen despised the prince and sent a delegation after him to declare before the royals, ‘We refuse to let this man rule over us! He will not be our king!’
15“Nevertheless, he was crowned king and returned to his land. Then he summoned his ten servants to see how much each one had earned and what their profits came to.
16“The first one came forward and said, ‘Master, I took what you gave me and invested it, and it multiplied ten times.’
17“ ‘Splendid! You have done well, my excellent servant. Because you have shown that I can trust you in this small matter, I now grant you authority to rule over ten cities.’
18“The second came and said, ‘Master, what you left with me has multiplied five times.’
19“His master said, ‘I also grant you authority in my kingdom over five cities.’
20“Another came before the king and said, ‘Master, here is the money you entrusted to me. I hid it for safekeeping. 21You see, I live in fear of you, for everyone knows you are a strict master and impossible to please. You push us for a high return on all that you own, and you always want to gain from someone else’s efforts.’ # 19:21 The text is literally “You pick up what you didn’t lay down and reap where you didn’t sow.” This statement is obviously not true. The opposite can be found in how the master shared his kingdom with the other more faithful servants. Today, many likewise have a misconception of the true heart of our Master. Our Master makes servants into rulers.
22“The king said, ‘You wicked servant! I will judge you using your own words. If what you said about me is true, that I am a harsh man, pushing you for a high return and wanting gain from others’ efforts, 23why didn’t you at least put my money in the bank # 19:23 The text is literally “upon a table,” a metaphor for where banking transactions took place. to earn some interest on it?’
24“The king said to his other servants, ‘Take the money he has and give it to the faithful servant who multiplied my money ten times over.’
25“ ‘But master,’ the other servants objected, ‘why give it to him? He already has so much!’
26“ ‘Yes,’ replied the king. ‘But to all who have been faithful, I will give even more to them. And for the ones who have nothing, even the little they seem to have I will take from them. 27Now, bring all those rebellious enemies of mine who rejected me as their king—bring them here before me and execute them!’ ”
Jesus’ Final Approach to Jerusalem
28After saying all of this, Jesus headed straight for Jerusalem. 29When he arrived at the stables of Annia # 19:29 The Greek text includes two small villages, Bethphage and Bethany. The meaning of the names combined means “the stables of Annia.” This is how it is translated in the Aramaic. near the Mount of Olives, # 19:29 The Mount of Olives is a large hill less than two miles from Jerusalem and about one hundred feet higher. he sent two of his disciples ahead, saying, 30“When you enter the next village, # 19:30 Literally “across the valley.” you will find tethered there a donkey’s young colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it to me. 31And if anyone stops you and asks, ‘What are you doing?’ just tell them this: ‘It is needed for the Lord.’ ” # 19:31 The Lord Jesus created all things and therefore owns it all.
32The two disciples entered the village and found the colt exactly like Jesus had said. 33While they were untying it, the owners confronted them and asked, “What are you doing?”
34The disciples replied, “We need this donkey for the Lord.”
35-36After they brought the colt to Jesus, they placed their prayer shawls on its back, and Jesus rode it as he descended the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem. # 19:35–36 See Zech. 9:9. As he rode toward the city, people spontaneously threw their prayer shawls like a carpet on the path in front of him. # 19:35–36 This was done to signify Jesus was King. See 2 Kings 9:13. This is an obvious reference to the coming of the promised Messiah.
37As soon as he got to the bottom of the Mount of Olives, the crowd of his followers shouted with a loud outburst of ecstatic joy over all the mighty wonders of power they had witnessed. 38They shouted over and over, “Highest praises to God for the one who comes as King in the name of the Lord! Heaven’s peace and glory from the highest realm now comes to us!” # 19:38 This is a quotation of Ps. 118:26.
39Some Jewish religious leaders who stood off from the procession said to Jesus, “Teacher, order your followers at once to stop saying these things!”
40Jesus responded, “Listen to me. If my followers were silenced, the very stones would break forth with praises!”
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
41When Jesus caught sight of the city, he burst into tears with uncontrollable weeping over Jerusalem, 42saying, “If only you could recognize that this day peace is within your reach! But you cannot see it. 43For the day is soon coming when your enemies will surround you, hem you in on every side, and lay siege to you. # 19:43 Translated from the Aramaic. The Greek text states, “They will throw up ramparts.” See Isa. 29:3; Jer. 6:6; Ezek. 4:2. Jesus was the only one weeping while everyone else was rejoicing. 44They will crush you to pieces, and your children too! And they will leave your city totally destroyed. Since you would not recognize God’s day of visitation, you will see your day of devastation!”
Jesus Cleanses the Temple Courts
45Jesus entered the temple area and forcibly threw out all the merchants from their stalls. 46He rebuked them, saying, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Father’s house is to be filled with prayer—a house of prayer, # 19:46 See Isa. 56:7; Jer. 7:11. not a cave of bandits!’ ”
47From then on Jesus continued teaching in the temple area, but the high priests, the experts of the law, and the prominent men of the city kept trying to find a strategy to accuse Jesus, for they wanted him dead. 48They could find no reason to accuse him, for he was a hero to the people and the crowds were awestruck by every word he spoke.