Zakias met Jesus
Jesus went to a town called Jericho. He went into that town and started to go through it. A very rich man lived there. His name was Zakias. His job was to get tax money from the people and give it to the government, and he was the boss over some other tax men too. Sometimes tax men cheated people and kept some money for themselves, so nobody liked them.
Zakias wanted to see Jesus, but he was a short man, and there were a lot of people around Jesus, and they got in his way and blocked him, so he couldn’t see Jesus. So he ran up the road ahead of Jesus and climbed up into a tree, and he saw Jesus from up high in that tree.
When Jesus got to that tree, he looked up and saw Zakias, and he said to him, “Zakias. Come down here. And hurry. I want to go and stay at your house today.”
Then Zakias was very happy, and he came down quickly, and he took Jesus to his house. But when the other people saw this, they were angry with Jesus. They said, “Look. He has gone to stay with a bad man. He shouldn’t do that.”
But later, at his house, Zakias stood up and said to Jesus, “Listen, sir, this is what I am going to do now. I am going to split up all the things I own into 2 heaps, and I will give one heap away to poor people. And as well as that, I’m going to give money back to those people that I cheated. I am going to give them back 4 times as much as I took from them.”
Then Jesus told everybody there, “Listen. Today, right now, God saved this man, and everybody at his place too. You see, this man is one of God’s people now, just like Abraham, because he believes in me just like Abraham believed in God. 10 I am God’s special man from heaven, and I came to earth to look for people that went wrong and got lost, so that I can save them.”
The story about a boss that left some money with his work-men
11 The people there kept on listening to Jesus, and he kept on teaching them. You see, those people reckoned that when Jesus got to Jerusalem, God was going to make him the biggest boss in the world. And Jesus was close to Jerusalem, so they reckoned that soon God was going to make him that biggest boss. So Jesus told them this picture story to help them understand what was really going to happen.
12 He said, “There was an important man in a country, and one day, he got a message from the biggest boss over all those countries. That biggest boss wanted that man to come and see him, so that he could make him the new boss over his own country. 13 But before that man went away, he got 10 of his work-men to come and talk to him. He gave each work-man $1,000 to look after for him. He told them it was not their own money, but they had to use that money to get more money for him. Then that man went away to meet with that biggest boss.
14 But some of the people in that man’s country hated him, so they sent a messenger to tell the biggest boss that they didn’t want that man to become their boss.
15 But the biggest boss didn’t listen to them. He made that man the new boss over the country where that man lived.
Some time later, that man went back to his home. Then he got his work-men to come to him, and he asked each one of them about the money that he left with them. He wanted to know how much more money they got for him.
16 The first work-man said, ‘I used your money to get a lot more money for you. I now have 10 times as much as you left with me.’
17 His boss said, ‘Good. You did well. You are a good work-man. I only left a little bit of my money with you, but you used it the way I wanted you to. So now I will give you a really good job. I will make you the boss over 10 cities in this country.’
18 The next work-man said, ‘I used your money to get a lot more money for you. I now have 5 times as much as you left with me.’
19 His boss said, ‘Good. You did well too. So now I will give you a good job. I will make you the boss over 5 cities in this country.’
20 But another work-man didn’t get any more money for his boss. He just had the same money that his boss left with him, and no more. He said, ‘Boss, I wrapped your money in a towel to hide it, and I kept it safe for you. Here it is. 21 You see, I know that you are a hard man. I know that you grab things that don’t belong to you, so I was frightened of you.’
22 His boss got angry and yelled at him, ‘You are a bad work-man. Just now you reckoned that I am a hard man, and you reckoned that I grab things that don’t belong to me. That is not true. But if you reckon that I am a hard man, I will be a hard judge for you. 23 Listen, you didn’t even put my money in the bank. The bank keeps money for me, and when they give it back to me, they give me a bit more money with it.’
24 Then the boss said to some of his other workers, ‘Take that money from this man, and give it to the man that got 10 times as much as I left with him.’
25 They said, ‘But, boss, that work-man already has a lot of money.’
26 Their boss said, ‘Yes, thats right. You see, if I give people something, and they use it well, then I will give them more. But if they don’t do anything with it, I will take away from them that little bit they have.’
27 Then the boss talked about his enemies. He said, ‘Grab my enemies, you know, those people that hated me and didn’t want me to become their boss. Bring those people to me, and kill them, right here in front of me.’ ”
(We have not yet translated 19:28—22:34. You can read most of those stories and messages in Mark 11:114:31. Some of them are about the time that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and the other things that happened at that time. And they say that he started to eat a special dinner, called the Passover, with his followers. While they were eating that dinner, Jesus talked to them. This next story here is some of what Jesus said at that time.)