Jesus and Zacchaeus
19 He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
The Parable of the Ten Minas
As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”
The Triumphal Entry
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
Luke 19 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Turncoat – “The phrase comes from the ancient practice of wearing a badge or pin on one’s coat signifying the party or leader you supported. By ‘turning your coat’ you quite literally hid your allegiance to others.” – Vocabulary.com
It’s worse than a defector. It’s one who betrays their country during a war and supports an opposing nation. To many, a turncoat is nothing more than a traitor.
His name meant ‘pure one’ but his life was the furthest from honoring such a name. Zacchaeus by choice had ‘switched sides’ and worked for Rome as a tax collector. And not just a minion in the long list of employees but was actually the chief collector.
As Rome had grown its empire to pay for their efforts in wars and rebuilding, they taxed the dickens out of all nations under their control. The Jews absolutely rejected and opposed these taxes but were forced nonetheless to pay. What added to the rub was the tax collectors in each nation were not Romans but nationals. And so within Israel, the tax collectors were Jews by birth that were not conscripted to this job but chose it. Adding insult to injury, they gouged their own people and made plenty of money off them by hiking their taxes beyond what Rome demanded. They became rich off their own.
Zacchaeus was the worse of the worse. He made money off his own people and was hated. Rejected by most his friendships and relationships were those of the underbelly of society. They were the secular, the nonreligious, prostitutes and more. Upright Jews would cross a street even rather than pass them face to face.
Yet despite all these factors society had marked against him. Despite the fact he was a cheater and a turncoat to his people. Despite his friends were drunks and whores – Jesus loved him. That’s what makes this story so powerful. Publically, Jesus called him by name. Just think about that, Jesus called Zacchaeus by name in a crowd and didn’t rebuke him but said He was coming to this lowest of the low scum’s home and having dinner. Jesus pursued the relationship with Zach.
As dinner took place something happened. Zacchaeus realized his life of sin. He had always known he was not doing the right thing but the presence of Jesus brought a razor-sharp focus to things and he renounced his ways. Not only that, he vowed to give half his possessions to the poor and pay back 4x the amount of what he’d cheated his own people. Salvation had come to this man’s house.
There are many lessons to grab hold from this story I love so deeply. But the challenge today is to consider these whom are the untouchable, the ostracized of society, the sinner who appears in our own eyes as beyond redemption. Consider these and know first Jesus loves them. But more so, we have the presence of Jesus in our own lives through the Holy Spirit and are called to love these just like Him.
“The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”Luke 19:10
Love like Jesus. Reach out to the despicable. Call them by name. Invest your time in these. Love like Jesus and let His presence do the rest in their hearts.
Luke 19 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
In Chapter 19, Jesus tells the parable of the ten minas. A mina was 1/60 of a talent and would have come out to around 3 months of wages. Jesus goes to Jerusalem to tell this parable to his disciples, and this was significant because his followers would have thought He was preparing to crown Himself king there. The timing and geographical location could not be any better for this parable to be told.
So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. 13 “And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ 14 “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’Luke 19:12-14 NASB
The kingdom Jesus is speaking of is spiritual, but the Jews were thinking in terms of their nation. Because they (the citizens) rejected the spiritual reign of Christ, they eventually lost their earthly kingdom. The people were impatient in expecting the kingdom rule to be 1) the way they wanted 2) at the time they wanted. In the opening verses, Jesus designates his slaves to take care of business while He is away. When He returns, He checks with his slaves to see what they have done. One slave took the single mina and made ten more. He was given ten cities in reward. Another took his mina and made five more. He was given five cities in reward. Then we read this…
“Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 “He *said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?Luke 19:20-22 NASB
What is the application? Christ gives to his “slaves” (those who receive His Word) the same glorious mina. Each slave received Salvation in the form of one mina, yet, that was not the end of the story was it? Jesus did not leave and instruct them to stay comfortable and complacent. He expected a return on investment. He expected growth. The principal characteristic here is not some kind of business-savvy profiting scheme. What was the difference between the obedient slaves and the selfish one?
The obedient slaves loved their master. Note that the foolish slave thought the master was an exacting man. This word means challenging or demanding. To ask this slave to grow personally or grow the Gospel was simply too much effort for him. This slave did not value the master, therefore, he did not value the mina. He selfishly clung to it refusing to invest it even though he had been commanded to.
This is a convicting principle for our world today. How many are simply content to make a profession of allegiance to Christ and then go on living their life however they want? The sobering reality is that the master is coming back to check on slaves, and just like the story, that reward will be taken and given to someone else. We must always remember that to whom much is given, much is expected and required.