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Jesus is finally drawing near to Jericho, which is close to Jerusalem, their final destination.
Are we there yet?
A blind man is sitting at the side of the road where he's begging. Hearing the crowd, he asks what's going on.
When he's told that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, he shouts, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (18:38). People are ordering him to pipe down, but he starts to cry out louder.
Guess what Jesus does? Yep—he makes the blind man see. The guy gives God a big hurrah, and so does everyone else.
As Jesus passes through Jericho, a man named Zacchaeus is there. This guy is loaded.
He's trying to see Jesus, but he's a short guy, and the crowd's too large. Zacchaeus sprints ahead and climbs a sycamore tree so he can see Jesus when he passes.
As Jesus walks by the tree, he looks up and sees Zacchaeus: "Zacchaeus! You come down from there! For I'm going to your house today!"
Zacchaeus is thrilled to oblige.
Everyone moans because Jesus chooses to stay with a sinner. What gives?
Zacchaeus stops dead in his tracks and makes an unexpected announcement to Jesus: he's giving half of his possessions to the poor, and he's using the other half to repay anyone he's defrauded fourfold.
Jesus declares that deliverance belongs to Zacchaeus and his house. Finally, here's a rich guy who's doing it right (as opposed to say 12:16-21; 16:14-15, 19-31; and 18:18-27).
Jesus gives a nice big "I told you so" to the grumblers from 19:7. He's come to deliver the lost.