Verse 1 – Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
Verse 2 – Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was chief tax collector, and he was rich.
Verse 3 – And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short nature.
Verse 4 – So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.
Tax collectors were among the most despised people in Israel. They worked for the Roman government and were considered traitors. It was also well-known that the tax collectors were rich because they gouged their fellow Jews on taxes.
Verse 5 – And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.
Jesus knew not only that Zacchaeus was above Him in the tree, but knew his name! So you can already guess Jesus knew what the man did for a living.
Verse 6 – So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.
Verse 7 – But when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Yes, he was a sinner, but people who live in “glass houses” shouldn’t throw rocks!
Verse 8 – Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
Look what Zacchaeus was willing to do, and he had just met Jesus. Before Jesus said anything about what Zacchaeus had done wrong, He was willing to go to this sinner’s house. In the presence of Jesus, we will know what we have to do to get our hearts right along with our behavior.
Verse 9 – And Jesus said to Him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;
By Jesus stating Zacchaeus was a son of Abraham, He informed the surrounding Jews, that even though they were a descendant, they could be lost.
Verse 10 – “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The Parable of the Ten Minas
Verse 11 – Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.
Verse 12 – Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.
Verse 13 – “So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’
Verse 14 – “But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him saying, ‘We will not have this man reign over us.’
Verse 15 – “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Jesus is talking about Himself, having to return to heaven, but letting them know He will return. This is also a warning to those who despised Him while He was among them on earth and when He returns.
Verse 16 – “Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’
“Look, I have fully multiplied what you have given me to use for Your kingdom!”
Verse 17 – “And he said to him, “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’
Verse 18 – “And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’
Verse 19 – “Like wise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
Verse 20 – “And another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have put away in a handkerchief.
Verse 21 – ‘For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’
“Here Lord, I give you back exactly what you gave me to start with. I never studied Your word so that I could lead anyone to You. It took too much time. I didn’t see any reason to ever go past the “born-again” thing.”
Verse 22 – “And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.
Why exactly was this master so hard on this servant? (1) Because he didn’t share his master’s interest in the kingdom. (2) He didn’t trust the master’s intentions. (3) His only concern was for himself. ( 4) He didn’t make good use of the money that was given him. (5) And , he wasn’t looking for the master’s return. God has given us gifts to be used to further His kingdom. Are we interested in seeing His kingdom grow? Do we trust God to order our steps? Are we willing to share what He’s given us with others?
Verse 23 – ‘Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
Verse 24 – “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’
Verse 25 – (“But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’)
Verse 26 – ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given, and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Verse 27 – ‘But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”
There is a great reward to those who stay faithful to the Lord in what He has given them. He will multiply what He has given you and to those who do not use what He has given, will be taken away what little they have. Likewise, those which don’t want Christ to reign over their lives, will be severely punished. If you don’t want anything to do with Christ while living here on earth, what makes a person think they will go to heaven when they die? If you are not living for Christ, you are considered an enemy of God.
The Triumphal Entry
Verse 28 – When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
Verse 29 – And it came to pass, when He came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples,
Verse 30 – saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose him and bring him here.
Verse 31 – “And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing him?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of him.’ ”
Verse 32 – So those who were sent departed and found it just as He had said to them.
Verse 33 – But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”
Verse 34 – And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”
Verse 35 – Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own garments on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.
Verse 36 – And as He went, they spread their clothes on the road.
This prophecy of Zachariah 9:9, was being fulfilled right before their eyes. However, the perception of the people was much different from what would actually happen. Their thinking was too small, because they thought He had come to liberate them from the suppression of the Roman government. But His real intention would free all mankind from sin and the oppression of Satan through His death and resurrection.
Verse 37 – Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,
Verse 38 – saying, ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Verse 39 – And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
Verse 40 – But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
The Pharisees thought what the crowd and the disciples cried out was sacrilegious and blasphemous. They didn’t want anyone to challenge their power and authority. They had missed the true meaning entirely. Jesus was about to establish an eternal kingdom, not a political one.
Verse 41 – Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,
Verse 42 – saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
Verse 43 – “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,
Verse 44 – “and level you, and your children within you , to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
About 40 years after Jesus said these words, they came true. In A.D. 66, the Jews revolted against Roman control. Three years later Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, was sent to crush the rebellion. Roman soldiers attacked Jerusalem and broke through the northern wall, but still couldn’t take the city. Finally they laid siege to it, and in A.D. 70, they ere able to enter the severely weakened city and burn it. Six hundred thousand Jews were killed during this rage.
It is impossible to number how many Jews were killed during the Holocaust of WWII, but the estimation is around 6 million, 1.1 million children, and 4 million Gentiles. The Jewish people have been persecuted and killed form the beginning of history for their belief in the One True God of Israel.
Cleansing the Temple
Verse 45 – Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,
The court of the Gentiles in the temple complex was where sacrificial animals were being sold for outrageously high prices. Who knows how long or when this practice had been started. These were the money changers. When you came into the temple, the priest would only accept temple money, not foreign currency. Then the people could buy the animals that were to be sacrificed.
I went to a church for several years and after some time, every function they had where people would gather for fellowship, cost money. There was always a charge to attend. So you could imagine only those who could afford it went. There was no difference in what went on in Jesus day as there is today in some places of worship.
Verse 46 – saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
Verse 47 – And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him,
Verse 48 – and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.