Jesus was passing through Jericho.
A man named Zacchaeus was there. He was the director of tax collectors, and he was rich.
He tried to see who Jesus was. But Zacchaeus was a small man, and he couldn't see Jesus because of the crowd.
So Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a fig tree to see Jesus, who was coming that way.
When Jesus came to the tree, he looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down! I must stay at your house today."
Zacchaeus came down and was glad to welcome Jesus into his home.
But the people who saw this began to express disapproval. They said, "He went to be the guest of a sinner."
[Later, at dinner,] Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Lord, I'll give half of my property to the poor. I'll pay four times as much as I owe to those I have cheated in any way."
Then Jesus said to Zacchaeus, "You and your family have been saved today. You've shown that you, too, are one of Abraham's descendants.
Indeed, the Son of Man has come to seek and to save people who are lost."
Jesus was getting closer to Jerusalem, and the people thought that the kingdom of God would appear suddenly. While Jesus had the people's attention, he used this illustration.
He said, "A prince went to a distant country to be appointed king, and then he returned.
[Before he left,] he called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins. He said to his servants, 'Invest this money until I come back.'
"The citizens of his own country hated him. They sent representatives to follow him and say [to the person who was going to appoint him], 'We don't want this man to be our king.'
"After he was appointed king, he came back. Then he said, 'Call those servants to whom I gave money. I want to know how much each one has made by investing.'
"The first servant said, 'Sir, the coin you gave me has earned ten times as much.'
"The king said to him, 'Good job! You're a good servant. You proved that you could be trusted with a little money. Take charge of ten cities.'
"The second servant said, 'The coin you gave me, sir, has made five times as much.'
"The king said to this servant, 'You take charge of five cities.'
"Then the other servant said, 'Sir, look! Here's your coin. I've kept it in a cloth for safekeeping because
I was afraid of you. You're a tough person to get along with. You take what isn't yours and harvest grain you haven't planted.'
"The king said to him, 'I'll judge you by what you've said, you evil servant! You knew that I was a tough person to get along with. You knew that I take what isn't mine and harvest grain I haven't planted.
Then why didn't you put my money in the bank? When I came back, I could have collected it with interest.'
The king told his men, 'Take his coin away, and give it to the man who has ten.'
"They replied, 'Sir, he already has ten coins.'
" 'I can guarantee that everyone who has something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who don't have much.
Bring my enemies, who didn't want me to be their king. Kill them in front of me.'"
After Jesus had given this illustration, he continued on his way to Jerusalem.
When he came near Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives (as it was called), Jesus sent two of his disciples ahead of him.
He said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you. As you enter, you will find a young donkey tied there. No one has ever sat on it. Untie it, and bring it.
If anyone asks you why you are untying it, say that the Lord needs it."
The men Jesus sent found it as he had told them.
While they were untying the young donkey, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the donkey?"
The disciples answered, "The Lord needs it."
They brought the donkey to Jesus, put their coats on it, and helped Jesus onto it.
As he was riding along, people spread their coats on the road.
By this time he was coming near the place where the road went down the Mount of Olives. Then the whole crowd of disciples began to praise God for all the miracles they had seen.
They shouted joyfully, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven."
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell your disciples to be quiet."
Jesus replied, "I can guarantee that if they are quiet, the stones will cry out."
When he came closer and saw the city, he began to cry.
He said, "If you had only known today what would bring you peace! But now it is hidden, so you cannot see it.
The time will come when enemy armies will build a wall to surround you and close you in on every side.
They will level you to the ground and kill your people. One stone will not be left on top of another, because you didn't recognize the time when God came to help you."
Jesus went into the temple courtyard and began to throw out those who were selling things there.
He said to them, "Scripture says, 'My house will be a house of prayer,' but you have turned it into a gathering place for thieves."
Jesus taught in the temple courtyard every day. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people looked for a way to kill him.
But they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were eager to hear him.