As Jesus was passing through Jericho, a rich tax collector named Zacchaeus wanted to see who he was. Because he was short and couldn’t see over the crowd, he climbed up a tree.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Contrast this story with the one of the rich religious ruler here.
People looked up to the rich ruler. They looked down on Zacchaeus.
The ruler couldn’t admit he was a sinner. Zacchaeus gladly repented of his sins.
The ruler went away sad when Jesus told him to sell his stuff and give it to the poor. Zacchaeus joyfully gave his stuff to the poor without being asked.
The ruler sought salvation in earthly riches. Zacchaeus found salvation in Jesus.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
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