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Jesus and Zacchaeus

19 1–3 In the city of Jericho there lived a very wealthy man named Zacchaeus,[a] who was the supervisor over all the tax collectors. As Jesus made his way through the city, Zacchaeus was eager to see Jesus. He kept trying to get a look at him, but the crowd around Jesus was massive. Zacchaeus was a very short man and couldn’t see over the heads of the people. So he ran on ahead of everyone and climbed up a blossoming fig tree[b] so he could get a glimpse of Jesus as he passed by.

When Jesus got to that place, he looked up into the tree and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry on down, for I am appointed to stay[c] at your house today!”

So he scurried down the tree and came face-to-face with Jesus.

As Jesus left to go with Zacchaeus, many in the crowd complained, “Look at this! Of all the people to have dinner[d] with, he’s going to eat in the house of a crook.”

Zacchaeus joyously welcomed Jesus[e] and was amazed over his gracious visit to his home. 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 back four times as much as I stole.”

9–10 Jesus said to him, “This shows that today life[f] has come to you and your household, for you are a true son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek out and to give life to those who are lost.”[g]

The Parable of a Prince and His Servants

11 At this time Jesus was getting close to entering Jerusalem. The crowds that followed him were convinced that God’s kingdom realm would fully manifest when Jesus established it in Jerusalem. 12 So he told them this story to change their perspective:

“Once there was a wealthy prince who left his province to travel to a distant land, where he would be crowned king and then return. 13 Before he departed he summoned his ten servants together and said, ‘I am entrusting each of you with fifty thousand dollars[h] to trade with while I am away. Invest 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 you can be trusted in this small matter, I now grant you authority to rule over ten fortress 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 fortress cities.’

20 “Another came before the king and said, ‘Master, here is the money you entrusted to me. I hid it for safekeeping. 21 You 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.’[i]

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, 23 why didn’t you at least put my money in the bank[j] to earn some interest on what I entrusted to you?’

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, even more will be given them. And for the ones who have nothing, even the little they seem to have will be taken from them. 27 Now, bring all those rebellious enemies of mine who rejected me as their king—bring them here before me and execute them!’”

28 After saying all of this, Jesus headed straight for Jerusalem. 29 When he arrived at the stables of Annia[k] near the Mount of Olives,[l] he sent two of his disciples ahead, saying, 30 “When you enter the next village,[m] you will find tethered there a donkey’s young colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it to me. 31 And if anyone stops you and asks, ‘What are you doing?’ just tell them this: ‘It is needed for the Lord of All.’”[n]

32 The two who were sent entered the village and found the colt exactly like Jesus had said. 33 While they were untying the colt, the owners approached them and asked, “What are you doing?”

34 The disciples replied, “We need this donkey for the Lord of All.”

35–36 They brought the colt to Jesus. Then they placed their prayer shawls on its back, and Jesus rode it as he descended the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem.[o] As he rode along, people spontaneously threw their prayer shawls on the path in front of him like a carpet.[p]

37 As soon as he got to the bottom of the Mount of Olives, the crowds of his followers shouted with a loud outburst of ecstatic joy over all the mighty wonders of power they had witnessed. 38 They 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!”[q]

39 Some Jewish religious leaders who stood off from the procession said to Jesus, “Teacher, you must order your followers at once to stop saying these things!”

40 Jesus responded, “Listen to me. If my followers were silenced, the very stones would break forth with praises!”

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 When Jesus caught sight of the city, he burst into tears with uncontrollable weeping over Jerusalem, 42 saying, “If only you could recognize that this day peace is within your reach! But you cannot see it. 43 For the day is soon coming when your enemies will surround you, pressing you in on every side, and laying siege to you.[r] 44 They will crush you to pieces, and your children too! And when they leave, your city will be totally destroyed. Since you would not recognize God’s day of visitation, your day of devastation is coming!”

Jesus Cleanses the Temple Courts

45 Jesus entered the temple area and forcibly threw out all the merchants from their stalls. 46 He rebuked them, saying, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Father’s house is to be filled with prayer—a house of prayer,[s] not a cave of bandits!’”

47 From then on Jesus continued teaching in the temple area, but all the while, the high priests, the experts of the law, and the prominent men of the city kept trying to find a way to accuse Jesus, for they wanted him dead. 48 They 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.


  1. Luke 19:1 The name Zacchaeus means “pure.”
  2. Luke 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.”
  3. Luke 19:5 Although they had never met, Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ name. This was a “word of knowledge.” The Aramaic text states, “It is my duty to stay at your house.” It is likely that Jesus spent the night in Zacchaeus’ home.
  4. Luke 19:7 The Aramaic states “dinner after the fast.”
  5. Luke 19:8 This is supplied from v. 6, stated here for the sake of the narrative.
  6. Luke 19:9 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek text is “salvation.” Notice that Jesus describes himself as “life” and “Son of Man.” He is both divine and human.
  7. Luke 19:9 This is a quotation taken from Ezek. 34:16.
  8. Luke 19:13 Literally “ten minas.”
  9. Luke 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.
  10. Luke 19:23 The text is literally “upon a table,” a metaphor for where banking transactions took place.
  11. Luke 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.
  12. Luke 19:29 This was a large hill less than two miles from Jerusalem and about one hundred feet higher.
  13. Luke 19:30 Literally “across the valley.”
  14. Luke 19:31 The Lord Jesus created all things and therefore owns it all.
  15. Luke 19:35 See Zech. 9:9.
  16. Luke 19:35 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.
  17. Luke 19:38 This is a quotation of Ps. 118:26.
  18. Luke 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.
  19. Luke 19:46 See Isa. 56:7; Jer. 7:11.

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

19 Jesus entered Jericho(A) and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig(B) tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.(C)

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”(D)

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord,(E) “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything,(F) I will pay back four times the amount.”(G)

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.(H) 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”(I)

The Parable of the Ten Minas(J)

11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God(K) was going to appear at once.(L) 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants(M) and gave them ten minas.[a] ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’

14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’

15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’

17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’(N) his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’(O)

18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’

19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’

20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’(P)

22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words,(Q) you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?(R) 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’

25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’

26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.(S) 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King(T)(U)

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.(V) 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany(W) at the hill called the Mount of Olives,(X) he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.(Y) 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks(Z) on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives,(AA) the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b](AB)

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”(AC)

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”(AD)

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”(AE)

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it(AF) 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.(AG) 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls.(AH) They will not leave one stone on another,(AI) because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming(AJ) to you.”

Jesus at the Temple(AK)

45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’[c];(AL) but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’[d](AM)

47 Every day he was teaching at the temple.(AN) But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him.(AO) 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.


  1. Luke 19:13 A mina was about three months’ wages.
  2. Luke 19:38 Psalm 118:26
  3. Luke 19:46 Isaiah 56:7
  4. Luke 19:46 Jer. 7:11

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