This time was very different. Uncle Zach was so excited about having Jesus come to dinner at our house that he invited almost the whole town. He even invited the people that were calling him a sinner and scum. Some of them turned out to be the men that were in charge of the synagogue. I think that they were called Rabbis or Pharisees or Scribes or something. Well, he invited just about everybody in town.
When Jesus arrived with his friends, I went up to a place on the roof so that I could sit and watch everything going on in the courtyard and stay out of the way. I could see Uncle Zach talking to Jesus when I heard him say the strangest thing. Jesus was sitting down and Uncle Zach looked Him in the eye and said, “I will give half of my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much.”
It got real quiet in the courtyard that day. People could not believe what they had heard my uncle say. Then Jesus spoke loudly so that everyone could hear, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a son of Abraham. And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.”
Now, I didn’t understand all of that but later I went downstairs. I wanted a closer look at this Jesus for myself. Uncle Zach found me and excitedly took me to Jesus and introduced me directly to Him. I couldn’t believe that I was standing there with Him. I just stood there, staring. I didn’t know what to say. But, Jesus bent down and took my hand and looked me right in the eye. He told me that He was very, very glad to meet me. I still couldn’t speak. It was like He was reaching right inside of me and touching my heart. I stood there and stared at Him for another long minute and then I rushed over to Him and just hugged Him for all I was worth. He hugged me back real strong and I felt warm and tingly all over my outsides and my insides. Somehow, I just knew that He loved me more than anyone else ever had or could. He loved me more than my Uncle Zach and even more than my mom and dad. I just knew that knowing Jesus and loving Him was the most important thing in my whole life.
I realized later that Jesus came to Jericho just to meet my Uncle Zach and me. Our lives would never, ever be the same. For instance, Uncle Zach went all over town to find people that he collected too much tax money from and gave the extra money back…just like he told Jesus that he would. And then he would give them four times as much as he took wrongly…. just like he told Jesus he would. Uncle Zach really changed after he met Jesus. He became the nicest man I ever knew. People in town didn’t run and hide from him anymore. He made lots of friends and our house became a place that people liked to come and visit.
My life changed too. I worked a lot harder at making new friends and being a good friend. I also told all of my new friends about the time that Jesus came to town to meet my Uncle Zach…and me.
Do you know Jesus? Do you know that He loves you more than anyone else in the whole world ever could? Would you like to meet Him too? If you don’t know Jesus and want to meet Him, talk to your Sunday school teacher or one of your church leaders or your parents and ask them to help you to know Him. Do it today!
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