Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.
There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was one of the most influential Jews in the Roman tax-collecting business, and he had become very rich.
He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowds.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road, so he could watch from there.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. "Zacchaeus!" he said. "Quick, come down! For I must be a guest in your home today."
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.
But the crowds were displeased. "He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner," they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!"
Jesus responded, "Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a son of Abraham.
And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost."
The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away.
He said, "A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return.
Before he left, he called together ten servants and gave them ten pounds of silver to invest for him while he was gone.
But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say they did not want him to be their king."
"When he returned, the king called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what they had done with the money and what their profits were.
The first servant reported a tremendous gain -- ten times as much as the original amount!
'Well done!' the king exclaimed. 'You are a trustworthy servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.'"
"The next servant also reported a good gain -- five times the original amount.
'Well done!' the king said. 'You can be governor over five cities.'"