The story of Zacchaeus captures the message of the Gospel and the transforming power of God’s grace. Zacchaeus was not a popular person at all. As a principal tax collector, his job was to raise taxes for the Roman government. This profession was notorious for corruption.
Bible Gateway Luke 19 :: NIV. Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.
A sycamore tree symbolizes strength, protection, eternity, and divinity. In Egypt, it is portrayed as representation of Egyptian goddesses in the book named “Book of the Dead”. It has its reference in Bible as well.
Simple Lessons From Zacchaeus in the Bible Lesson 1: Want to see Jesus, no matter what it takes. ( v. Lesson 2: Put your pride aside. Lesson 3: Accept His invitation and answer His call. Lesson 4: Meet Him with excitement and joy. Lesson 5: Let Him find you and change you.
Jesus response was, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”(NRSV, Matthew 19:9-10) Jesus accepted Zacchaeus ‘ repentance and his self-imposed penitence as signs of his salvation.
One property of the sycamore tree , as noted earlier, is its fruitfulness and this can be taken to symbolise rejuvenation/regeneration. It was on that tree that Zacchaeus was to meet Christ, acknowledge and repent his sins and also rediscover his mission in life – that of taking care of the poor.
Zacchaeus was especially unpopular as he was a chief tax collector in Jericho and a wealthy man. However, he must have realised that his life needed to change and he was determined to see Jesus – even though this meant climbing a tree.
It’s really no surprise that the crowd turns against Jesus very soon after this story. Even though Zacchaeus is arguably an awful person, it is to his credit that he wants to see Jesus, and that’s how he ends up a tree. Jesus is aware that rich people often bark up the wrong tree to seek him out.
Zacchaeus was a rich man and got that way by legal yet unsavory methods. In the Roman Empire, areas were divided up and auctioned off to tax collectors like Zacchaeus , who paid Rome a fee for the right to collect taxes in his city, Jericho. They called him a “sinner,” which is how all tax collectors were thought of.
Interesting Information About Plant : The sycamore tree is the largest deciduous trees in the Eastern United States. It grows to 30 meters tall and lives nearly 600 years.
Zacchaeus then ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree along Jesus’s path. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up at the sycamore tree (actually a sycamore-fig ficus sycomorus ), addressed Zacchaeus by name, and told him to come down, for he intended to visit his house.
The ancient symbol of the Tree has been found to represent physical and spiritual nourishment, transformation and liberation, union and fertility. They are seen as powerful symbols of growth and resurrection. In many of folk religions, trees are said to be homes of spirits.
Zacchaeus was a money grabbing tax collector. He wanted to see Jesus for himself so he climbed up a tree. Jesus took this interest in him to show His love for everyone and anyone.
He makes a commitment to give half of his possessions to the poor and to pay back four times over anyone whom he may have defrauded. In our play, Zacchaeus escorts jesus from his house to the Jerusalem road where jesus tells the parable in which a nobleman divides ten pounds among his servants (Luke 19:11-27).