After healing the blind beggar on the outskirts of town, Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through on his way to Jerusalem. 2 Zacchaeus was a well known shady character in Jericho. He’d become quite wealthy because of his position as the head tax collector. 3 Zacchaeus was also quite short, which made it difficult to see the passing Jesus. A lot of people had come out to catch a glimpse of Jesus -- for his miracles and teaching had made him famous. But short Zacchaeus was being crowded out. 4 He solved the problem by running ahead of the horde and climbing a sycamore tree so he could see the approaching Jesus. (Zacchaeus didn’t have much dignity left -- for everyone knows that grown men don’t run or climb trees.) 5 As Jesus came to the spot below Zacchaeus’ perch, he looked up, saw him and said, “Zacchaeus, today is your day, get yourself down here right now. I want to be a guest in your home.” 6 The elated tax collector scrambled down the tree and enthusiastically welcomed Jesus.
7 Those who figured out what was going on started to kvetch -- “He’s
going to accept the hospitality of a scumbag sinner. Disgusting!”
8 The embarrassed Zacchaeus acknowledged the legitimacy of the
crowd’s reaction in his response to Jesus, “Look, Lord, I’m a changed man!
I hereby give half of what I have to the poor. And whatever I have
swindled will be repaid four times over.”
9 Jesus said,“Today is the day of salvation for this man and his
household. Obviously this kind of faith shows that Zacchaeus is to be counted among the true children of Abraham. 10 The Uber Man has
come to seek and save those who are lost.”