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Zacchaeus

19 Jesus was going through Jericho, where a man named Zacchaeus lived. He was in charge of collecting taxes[a] and was very rich. 3-4 Jesus was heading his way, and Zacchaeus wanted to see what he was like. But Zacchaeus was a short man and could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree.

When Jesus got there, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down! I want to stay with you today.” Zacchaeus hurried down and gladly welcomed Jesus.

Everyone who saw this started grumbling, “This man Zacchaeus is a sinner! And Jesus is going home to eat with him.”

Later that day Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my property to the poor. And I will now pay back four times as much[b] to everyone I have ever cheated.”

Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today you and your family have been saved,[c] because you are a true son of Abraham.[d] 10 The Son of Man came to look for and to save people who are lost.”

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Footnotes

  1. 19.2 in charge of collecting taxes: See the note at 3.12.
  2. 19.8 pay back four times as much: Both Jewish and Roman law said that a person must pay back four times the amount that was taken.
  3. 19.9 saved: Zacchaeus was Jewish, but it is only now that he is rescued from sin and placed under God’s care.
  4. 19.9 son of Abraham: As used in this verse, the words mean that Zacchaeus is truly one of God’s special people.

20 The young man said, “I have obeyed all of these. What else must I do?”

21 Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower.” 22 When the young man heard this, he was sad, because he was very rich.

23 Jesus said to his disciples, “It’s terribly hard for rich people to get into the kingdom of heaven! 24 In fact, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom.”

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