December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
- Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
- was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.
- So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.
- When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house."
- And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
- When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner."
- But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over."
- 2 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
- 3 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
- 4 While they were listening to him speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God would appear there immediately.
- So he said, "A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
- He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins 5 and told them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.'
- His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, 'We do not want this man to be our king.'
- But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.
- The first came forward and said, 'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.'
- He replied, 'Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.'
- Then the second came and reported, 'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.'
- And to this servant too he said, 'You, take charge of five cities.'
- Then the other servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
- for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.'
- He said to him, 'With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant;
- why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.'
- And to those standing by he said, 'Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.'
- But they said to him, 'Sir, he has ten gold coins.'
- 'I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
- Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.'"
- 6 After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
- As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples.
- He said, "Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here.
- And if anyone should ask you, 'Why are you untying it?' you will answer, 'The Master has need of it.'"
- So those who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them.
- And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying this colt?"
- They answered, "The Master has need of it."
- So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount.
- As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road;
- and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen.
- They proclaimed: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. 7 Peace in heaven and glory in the highest."
- Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." 8
- He said in reply, "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!"
- 9 As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,
- saying, "If this day you only knew what makes for peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.
- 10 For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
- They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
- Then Jesus entered the temple area 11 and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things,
- saying to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.'"
- And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death,
- but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.
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1 [1-10] The story of the tax collector Zacchaeus is unique to this gospel. While a rich man (Luke 19:2), Zacchaeus provides a contrast to the rich man of Luke 18:18-23 who cannot detach himself from his material possessions to become a follower of Jesus. Zacchaeus, according to Luke, exemplifies the proper attitude toward wealth: he promises to give half of his possessions to the poor (Luke 19:8) and consequently is the recipient of salvation (Luke 19:9-10).
2  A descendant of Abraham: literally, "a son of Abraham." The tax collector Zacchaeus, whose repentance is attested by his determination to amend his former ways, shows himself to be a true descendant of Abraham, the true heir to the promises of God in the Old Testament. Underlying Luke's depiction of Zacchaeus as a descendant of Abraham, the father of the Jews (Luke 1:73; 16:22-31), is his recognition of the central place occupied by Israel in the plan of salvation.
3  This verse sums up for Luke his depiction of the role of Jesus as savior in this gospel.
4 [11-27] In this parable Luke has combined two originally distinct parables: (1) a parable about the conduct of faithful and productive servants (Luke 19:13, 15b-26) and (2) a parable about a rejected king (Luke 19:12, 14-15a, 27). The story about the conduct of servants occurs in another form in Matthew 25:14-20. The story about the rejected king may have originated with a contemporary historical event. After the death of Herod the Great, his son Archelaus traveled to Rome to receive the title of king. A delegation of Jews appeared in Rome before Caesar Augustus to oppose the request of Archelaus. Although not given the title of king, Archelaus was made ruler over Judea and Samaria. As the story is used by Luke, however, it furnishes a correction to the expectation of the imminent end of the age and of the establishment of the kingdom in Jerusalem (Luke 19:11). Jesus is not on his way to Jerusalem to receive the kingly power; for that, he must go away and only after returning from the distant country (a reference to the parousia) will reward and judgment take place.
5  Ten gold coins: literally, "ten minas." A mina was a monetary unit that in ancient Greece was the equivalent of one hundred drachmas.
6 [19:28-21:38] With the royal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a new section of Luke's gospel begins, the ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem before his death and resurrection. Luke suggests that this was a lengthy ministry in Jerusalem (Luke 19:47; 20:1; 21:37-38; 22:53) and it is characterized by Jesus' daily teaching in the temple (Luke 21:37-38). For the story of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, see also Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; John 12:12-19 and the notes there.
7  Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord: only in Luke is Jesus explicitly given the title king when he enters Jerusalem in triumph. Luke has inserted this title into the words of Psalm 118:26 that heralded the arrival of the pilgrims coming to the holy city and to the temple. Jesus is thereby acclaimed as king (see Luke 1:32) and as the one who comes (see Malachi 3:1; Luke 7:19). Peace in heaven . . . : the acclamation of the disciples of Jesus in Luke echoes the announcement of the angels at the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:14). The peace Jesus brings is associated with the salvation to be accomplished here in Jerusalem.
8  Rebuke your disciples: this command, found only in Luke, was given so that the Roman authorities would not interpret the acclamation of Jesus as king as an uprising against them; cf Luke 23:2-3.
9 [41-44] The lament for Jerusalem is found only in Luke. By not accepting Jesus (the one who mediates peace), Jerusalem will not find peace but will become the victim of devastation.
10 [43-44] Luke may be describing the actual disaster that befell Jerusalem in A.D. 70 when it was destroyed by the Romans during the First Revolt.
11 [45-46] Immediately upon entering the holy city, Jesus in a display of his authority enters the temple (see Malachi 3:1-3) and lays claim to it after cleansing it that it might become a proper place for his teaching ministry in Jerusalem (Luke 19:47; 20:1; 21:37; 22:53). See Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; John 2:13-17 and the notes there.
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