In Jericho lived a rich man named Zacchaeus, who was the head
tax collector. When news came that Jesus was passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem,
Zacchaeus wanted more than anything else to
see this wonderful man.
Zacchaeus stood with the crowd gathered beside the road, but he could see nothing. He was too short to see over the heads of the
people. Down the road he ran and climbed into a sycamore tree. Now he could surely see Jesus.
Soon travelers going to Jerusalem came along the road. The people of Jericho watched eagerly to catch a glimpse of Jesus. On the
travelers walked until they came to the sycamore tree. Here Jesus and his disciples stood still. Jesus looked up and saw
"Zacchaeus," called Jesus, "come down at once, for today I must stop at your house."
How surprised Zacchaeus was! Now he could take Jesus home and talk with him.
Joyfully Zacchaeus led the way. As they went, others followed.
Some found fault because Jesus was stopping in the home of a tax collector whom they called a sinful man. The Pharisees would not
enter such a house. They hated sinners.
Zacchaeus' heart was changed by Jesus' kind words. He told Jesus, "Behold, Lord, I will give half of my goods to the poor. And if
I have taken more from any man than I should, I will give back four times as much
as I took."
Jesus was glad to hear Zacchaeus say that. Jesus answered, "Today salvation is come to your house, for the Son of man is come to seek
and to save those who are lost."