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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)

TITLE: My name is Zach
By Jillian Hill
05/17/06


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Hello, my name is Zach and you are on my list. Let me tell you why. I worked hard all of my life to get ahead and to make something of myself. I did not care who I stepped on or what underhanded deals I had to make. I took from the poor and I took from the rich. I just wanted to make lots of money and make a name for myself.

Then one day as I was walking through the city patting myself on the back for the level of prosperity I had achieved a crowd started yelling; “Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!” Well, I had heard about this man Jesus. The miracles he had performed and the message that he was bringing to the people. I wanted to see him for myself. I tried to maneuver through the crowd but let me tell you these people were solid. Everyone wanted to get near him.

So I looked around and saw this huge sycamore tree towering over the crowd. As you can tell I am not really built for tree climbing but I had such a strong desire to see Jesus. I climbed up in that tree and sat there watching him touch people. Then he looked straight at me. My heart froze and my mouth went dry. “Zacchaeus come down from that tree. I am going to stay at your house today.”

Well you can imagine the whispers that started. No one could believe that Jesus wanted to come to my house. I couldn’t believe he wanted to come to my house.

I climbed down and showed him the way with the crowd following in disbelief. A sinner is what they called me. I thought to myself ‘I am not a sinner’ but then, Jesus caught my eye. Do you want to know what I saw there? Sadness. I was shaken to the core. I cried out for forgiveness right then and there. I even made him a promise anyone I had cheated, and believe me there are a lot of people, I would repay them four times over what I took.

Weight, that I did not even realize I was carrying, was lifted off of me. I looked at Jesus and do you want to know what I saw in his eyes then? Joy.

I know you are wondering, ‘Why is he telling me all of this’? Well I figure that if Jesus can forgive me he can forgive anyone. So as I go around fulfilling my promise I am spreading the word so you too may find joy in the eyes of our savior.


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Jan Ackerson 05/19/06
I enjoyed reading this story from Zacchaeus' point of view. There was a bit of dissonance with his use of modern speech idioms, in the Biblical setting. Consider updating it to a modern setting--then his speech wouldn't "jar." It's a wonderful story that never gets old.