1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.
4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.
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.”
6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.
7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
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.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;
10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
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.
12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.
13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’
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.
16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’
17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’
18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’
19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief.
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.’
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.
23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’
25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’)
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.
27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ “
28 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples,
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 it and bring it here.
31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?‘ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ “
32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them.
33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”
34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”
35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.
36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.
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,
38 saying: ” ‘BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,
42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,
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.”
45 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,
46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE IS A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ‘DEN OF THIEVES.’ “
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,
48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.
There is a principle of perceived possession throughout this chapter, and there is a direct connection to the kingdom that is contingent on this perception. Though it doesn’t indicate that Jesus said anything about Zacchaeus’s wealth or how it came, the little man’s heart responded immediately to this reality in His reception of Jesus. This was an outward evidence of the salvation that came to his household.
The servants’ perceptions of what had been left in their possession had everything to do, not only with how they dealt with it, but the determination of whether or not they were in favor of the Nobleman’s reign. Though Jesus didn’t actually put the last servant into the category of those who opposed him, there is a strong implication in the 27th verse that he might have been among them.
Though Jesus was temporarily celebrated as the Blessed One coming in the name of the Lord, He understood His value to them to be a precarious worth, along with what they considered to be established security around them.
The perception of what was theirs even in the temple was perverted to be of temporal worth in producing financial gain. Using the presence of the Lord for personal promotion and wealth was in direct opposition to what Jesus considered to be a valid kingdom purpose.
Amazing – those who sought to destroy Him were those with the most information about Him, while those who were His defense were those He came to save. The heart will always be captured by the passion and not necessarily the information. The heart’s condition will determine the location of its opposition.
The rancher in me is always so enamored with this passage. My family bred paint horses when I was a child, an even now on our own ranch, we raise miniature donkeys. There is process for a horse/donkey to be trained to ride, and yet Jesus called for a colt that had never been ridden. The rancher sees areas for huge issues! The colt will spook, he won’t sand still, he might even start bucking and won’t know to yield to the bridle or be comfortable with the weight of a person on his back.
(We’re not even going into that this was not THEIR colt, and yet when they took it the master just let it go!!!)
And yet, that is what Jesus called for, and what the disciples brought Him. Why? Wouldn’t it have been safer for Jesus to ask for an animal that had been trained? Less work? Less variable in demeanor? I often wonder if the disciples questioned His request or pictured disaster as they carried out what had been asked of them.
We know that they did as they were asked and when the colt was brought to Jesus, that they laid their robes on its back and Jesus rode into Jerusalem. For those who see a story, I see a miracle. No way an unbroke animal does all of this in stride and the scenario turns out this way.
But then again, most horses don’t have the King of peace break them. I believe that this was a huge sign to the disciples. Their lives and customs surrounded farming/livestock and to see this was yet another confirmation of who Jesus really was.
I am so thankful that Jesus knows exactly how to get to our hearts, as I often say that He speaks to me in animals or redneck illustrations, I think this is an example of Him doing the exact same thing with His disciples. He knew that they knew animals, He knew that there would be some serious doubts, and He knew that hearts would be changed and their faith would be grown because of this.