11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. 28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. (Luke 19:11-28)
The Lord spoke these words as he sat at Zacchaeus’s house. Zacchaeus in Hebrew probably was זַכַּי Zakkai, “Made Pure”. And indeed Zacchaeus was made pure. Most people dwell on the fact that he’s short, but not the shortest man in the Bible, which we know from the book of Job was Bildad the Shuhite (say that out loud, you’ll get the joke).
It does not say who was present, besides that Zacchaeus accepted the Lord into his house. This would have meant a meal, and Zacchaeus would have invited all who would accept to come and eat at it. The Lord taught first a clear and unmistakeable teaching in Zacchaeus’s house that He was the rightful KIng of the Jews. The Parable makes it clear that:
- The Nobleman in the Parable is God (later the people would realize Jesus spoke of Himself, and that He was making the claim of Himself to be God)
- That the people were rejecting God
- That those who were saved, no matter how much or how little they did would be rewarded
- That it was comparing the saved with the unsaved
- That noone could rest on their claim to being Jewish as a guarantee of Salvation
- The Lord would have been justified in caling the angels in to kill everyone who opposed Him.
- The Lord, having taught that, set his face to go into Jerusalem, meeting His planned fate of the Cross.
The last two points, often missed, in many ways is one of the keys to the parable. Jesus is clearly teaching, “Look – I’m your king, whether you accept me or not. I will reward those who are faithful in little, none and much alike. Those who reject me will lose all, even their very souls. I have the right to wipe you all out….”
“…And having told you all that, I go to Jerusalem so that I may die for you.”