As Jesus and His disciples made their long and final journey to Jerusalem, they entered the city of
Jericho. Many left their house and their work to see Him as He passed, and soon it seemed the whole city was gathered to watch this famous Man walk by.
There was a man named Zacchaeus who heard of Christ’s visit. He was a rich tax collector, a profession despised by the Jews. He wanted to see Jesus for himself, and so he followed the crowd in hopes of a glimpse of this Man. Zacchaeus was a short man, however, and there were so many people in the crowds that he decided to climb a tree to get a better view.
Jesus saw this diminutive man climbing the tree, and He called out to him by name.
“Zacchaeus!” He said. “Come down quick! Today I must visit your home.”
Recovering swiftly from his initial surprise, Zacchaeus shimmied down the tree as fast as he could. Then he graciously led the Master and the disciples to his home.
The crowd followed at a distance, muttering to each other in displeasure.
“He is going to be a guest in the house of a sinner,” they whispered.
Inside Zacchaeus’ home, Zacchaeus was an awestruck host.
“Lord, I give half of my wealth to the poor,” he said earnestly. “If I take anything from a man wrongfully, I give him back four times what was taken.”
“Today salvation has fallen upon this house,” Jesus said, smiling at the good heart of Zacchaeus, the
publican. “You are a son of Abraham. I have come to find and save those who are lost.”