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Luke  ◦   Chapter 19

1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.2There was a wealthy man named Zacchaeus there who was chief tax collector.3He longed to see Jesus but was too short to see over the crowds4so he ran ahead and found a sycamore tree with branches hanging over the road. He climbed up and waited for Jesus to pass.

5When Jesus reached the spot under the tree, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry down, because today I am to be a guest in your house."6Zacchaeus jumped down immediately and welcomed him with great joy.

7But the people in the crowd began grumbling, "It's not right. What's wrong with him? He's entering the house of a 'sinner.'"

8But Zacchaeus was so moved by Jesus' graciousness toward him, he stood up and said, "Lord! Right here and now I give half of all my wealth to the poor, and from the remainder, if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I will repay them four times what I took."

9Jesus smiled and said to him, "Today, healing and restoration of God's methods of love have come to this home, for this man is also a true son of Abraham.10The Son of Man has come for this very purpose, to find and heal that which is deviant from God's design for life."

11While Jesus had their attention, he went on to tell them a parable, because — as he approached Jerusalem — the people thought now was the time for God's kingdom to appear on earth.12So he said: "A prince went to a distant land to have himself anointed king and then to return home.13So he called ten of those who volunteered to serve him and gave them each a gold coin. He told them, 'Put this money to good use until I get back.'

14"His people hated him and they sent a delegation to him, saying, 'We don't want you to be our king.'

15"He was made king anyway, and returned home. He sent for the ten servants, to whom he had entrusted money, in order to find out how well they had invested it.

16"The first one reported, 'Sir, with your gold coin I earned ten more.'

17" 'You have done well and are a good servant!' the king replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in this small matter, I am placing you in charge of ten cities.'

18"The second one said, 'Sir, with your gold coin I earned five more.'

19"The king answered, 'Well done, I am placing you in charge of five cities.'

20"Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your gold coin: I have kept it safe for you, hidden in a cloth.21I believe you are a hard man, and I fear you too much to risk losing what you gave me. I believe you take what is not yours and reap when you have not sown.'

22"The king replied, 'It is by your own words and beliefs — not by my true character — that you will be diagnosed, for your words reveal the wickedness of your heart. If you believed that I am a hard man, taking what is not mine and reaping where I did not sow,23then why didn't you at least put my money in the bank to earn interest?'

24"Then he said to his attendants, 'Take the gold coin away from this negligent servant and give it to the one who earned ten.'

25"But the servant protested, 'Sir, they already have ten. It's not fair!'

26"The king replied, 'I tell you the truth of God's kingdom: Everyone who uses what they have will receive more, but if you don't use it, you will lose it.27But as for those enemies of mine and my kingdom of love — those who value selfishness and don’t want me for their king — bring them to me; and in my presence they will die.' "

28After Jesus told them this, he continued on mission, going up to Jerusalem.29Approaching Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two interns ahead, telling them,30"Go to the next village, and as you enter you will find a colt tied there which has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it to me.31If anyone asks what you are doing, tell them, 'The Lord needs it.' "

32The two who were sent ahead found the colt just as Jesus told them they would.33As they were untying it, its owners said, "That's our colt! What are you doing untying it?"

34They answered, "The Lord needs it."

35So they brought it to Jesus, put their coats on its back, and then put Jesus on it.36As he rode along, the people began spreading their coats on the road in front of him.

37When they came to the split in the road heading down the Mount of Olives, all those following began rejoicing and praising God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38"Worthy of all praise is he who comes with the perfect character of God! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

39Some of the theologians of the Pharisee sect were irritated by this and told Jesus, "Doctor, silence your followers!"

40Jesus replied, "The truth is if they don't shout the truth, the rocks will shout it."

41As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he cried,42and said, "O Jerusalem, if you only knew what peace you could have had; but you have closed your eyes to me and the truth I bring.43It won't be long before your enemies will surround you and build barricades on all sides, sealing you in.44They will throw you to the ground, and your children will die within your walls. Not one stone will be left on another, because you failed to realize when God's kingdom of love came to you."

45He then entered the temple stage and drove out the conmen in priest's robes — the loan sharks in Levitical garb who misrepresented God's character of love.46He said, "It is written 'My house will be a place of prayer' but you corrupt it and make it a 'house of extortion.' "

47Daily he taught in the temple. The senior pastors, priests, theologians who taught a legal religion, and community leaders were plotting to kill him,48but they couldn't figure out how, because the people were so interested in hearing him.