When Jesus was on the earth, crowds of people gathered to see Him wherever He went, because everyone was curious to see what the Worker of Miracles looked like.
One day the news spread that Jesus was on the road to Jericho. A large crowd soon gathered along the road to catch a glimpse of Him as He walked by. People whispered excitedly to each other, hoping that Jesus would work a miracle that they would see.
A publican named Zacchaeus, whose job was to collect taxes from his own people for the hated Roman conquerors, wanted to see Jesus too. He was too short to see over other people’s heads, so he tried to get in front of the crowd. But no one would let him through. Looking up, Zacchaeus saw the branches of a huge sycamore tree hanging over the road that Jesus would travel. He ran to the tree and climbed it. Among other things, he must have thought, Now I’ll have a bird’s-eye view of Jesus, and I’ll be sure to see any miracle that He might perform.
When Jesus finally did walk under the branches of the sycamore tree, He stopped and looked up. “Zacchaeus,” He called, “make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.”
Filled with joy that the Lord saw him and knew his name and would stay at his house that night, Zacchaeus quickly obeyed the Lord’s command and came down from the tree.
When Zacchaeus heard the crowd’s complaints that Jesus was to be a “guest [of] a man that is a sinner,” he “stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, … half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [it to] him fourfold.
“And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as [Zacchaeus] also is a son of Abraham.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”