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 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEaston, Matthew George (1897). "Zacchaeus". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. 

Painting showing Jesus holds up his hand to call Zacchaeus down from the tree while a crowd watches
Zacchaeus by Niels Larsen Stevns. Jesus calls Zacchaeus down from his height in the tree.
Photo of the actual Sycamore fig tree in Jericho today.
Zacchaeus' sycamore fig in Jericho
Stained glass rendition of Zacchaeus receiving Jesus into his house.
"Zacchaeus receives Jesus",
Church of the Good Shepherd, Jericho

Zacchaeus (Greek: Ζακχαῖος, Zakchaios; Hebrew: זכי‎, "pure", "innocent"[1]) was a chief tax-collector at Jericho.[2] A descendent of Abraham he was a poster child for Jesus' personal, earthly mission to bring salvation to the lost.[3] Tax collectors were despised as traitors (working for the Roman Empire, not for their Jewish community), and as being corrupt.

Because the lucrative production and export of balsam was centered in Jericho, his position would have carried both importance and wealth.[4][5] In the account, he arrived before the crowd who were later to meet with Jesus, who was passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Described as a short man, Zacchaeus climbed up a sycamore fig tree so that he might be able to see Jesus. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up into the branches, addressed Zacchaeus by name, and told him to come down, for he intended to visit his house. The crowd was shocked that Jesus, a Jew, would sully himself by being a guest of a tax collector.

Moved by the audacity of Jesus' undeserved love and acceptance, Zacchaeus publicly repented acts of corruption and vowed to make restitution for them, and held a feast at his house.

Later traditions[edit]

At Er-riha (Jericho) there is a large, venerable looking square tower, which by tradition is named the House of Zacchaeus.

According to Clement of Alexandria, in his book Stromata, Zacchaeus was surnamed Matthias by the apostles, and took the place of Judas Iscariot after Jesus' ascension. Luke told us that Matthias in the beginning was with Jesus since the baptism of John (Acts 1:21-23). John also told us that later many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him (John 6:60-66). The later Apostolic Constitutions identify "Zacchaeus the Publican" as the first bishop of Caesarea (7.46).

Medieval legend identified Zacchaeus with Saint Amadour, and held him to be the founder of the French sanctuary, Rocamadour.

Liturgical practices[edit]

In Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches of Slavic tradition, the Gospel account of Zacchaeus is read on the last Sunday preceding the liturgical preparation for Great Lent, for which reason that Sunday is known as "Zacchaeus Sunday." It is the very first commemoration of a new Paschal cycle. The account was chosen to open the Lenten season because of two exegetical aspects: Jesus' call to Zacchaeus to come down from the tree (symbolizing the divine call to humility), and Zacchaeus' subsequent repentance.

In the Eastern churches of Greek/Byzantine tradition, Zacchaeus Sunday may fall earlier than the Sunday before the Pre-Lenten season.

Spiritual lessons[edit]

The story of Zacchaeus is used by some to illustrate [6] the saying of Jesus: "Blessed are the pure of heart, For they shall see God" Matthew 5:8, because the name Zacchaeus means pure. Zacchaeus also becomes a contrast of character with the Rich Young Ruler Luke 18:-23. Both Zacchaeus and the Rich Young Ruler were wealthy men, but one felt a self-righteousness and would not give up his possessions, the other gave half his possessions to feed the poor.[7]


  1. ^ Milligan, Jim. Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=G2195 |url= missing title (help). 
  2. ^ Luke 19:1-10
  3. ^ Warfield, Benjamin Breckinridge. "Jesus' Mission, According to His Own Testimony". Monergism. CPR Foundation. 
  4. ^ Morris, Leon. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary, page 297. Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1988.
  5. ^ Stier, Rudolf Ewald. The Words of the Lord Jesus. Trans. William Burt Pope. Page 314. Sheldon & co., 1859.
  6. ^ Pastor Doug Bachelor, Study on the Wisdom of Jesus' teachings
  7. ^ A Contrast of Character | Zacchaeus and the Rich Young Ruler

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Bishop of Caesarea
Succeeded by
Cornelius (possibly Cornelius the Centurion)

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zacchaeus — Please support Wikipedia.
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47 news items

Muskogee Daily Phoenix
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:01:24 -0700

In the New Testament (Luke 19:1-9), Jesus told the story of a wealthy tax collector named Zacchaeus who had the reputation of living a sinful lifestyle. He had climbed up a sycamore tree as Jesus was coming by so he could get a better look at him ...
DeHavilland (press release) (subscription)
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 05:22:30 -0700

Work and Pensions Select Committee - Citizens Advice, Mind, Parkinson's UK, Scope, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust - ESA and the WCA. Overview. During a meeting of the Work and Pensions Select Committee on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the ...
Visayan Daily Star
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:18:45 -0700

Just like Zacchaeus, a wealthy chief tax collector who wanted to see Jesus when He entered Jericho, he said. Chua said “Our relationship with God should be a spousal relationship because we will always see to it that we don't go against His will and ...
Kansas City Star
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:11:15 -0700

But they are essential to the moral tale of “Zacchaeus and Rattlesnake Church,” composed and performed by the church's pastor. And the outdoor service will be complimented by old-time gospel songs at the chapel, 3801 Gillham Road. Danny Cox & Family ...
Daily Maverick
Sun, 13 Apr 2014 16:03:45 -0700

We are given information about his disciples (we know Peter had a wife as he had a mother-in-law) his friends (Lazarus, Martha and Mary) and people that he spoke to or helped (Nathanael, Zacchaeus and Bartimaeus). Why would there be no mention of his ...
Naples Daily News (blog)
Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:33:45 -0700

In Luke, He actually invited Himself to dinner with the town villain, Zacchaeus. By simply walking in his door, Jesus became ceremonially unclean in the eyes of the Pharisees. In spite of this man cheating his own people to help the Romans (and line ...
Southwest Virginia Today
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:52:12 -0700

He is supported by many worthy actors/singers, most notably Hannah Ingram as the pitiful, angry Aldonza, Parris Cromer (an actress who plays the male Sancho Panza), and Zacchaeus Kimbrell as the Priest. With many standout moments, strong acting and ...
Your Houston News
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:01:49 -0700

The people “grumbled” when they saw Jesus spending time with Zacchaeus, a tax collector (Luke 9:7). Yet, Zacchaeus was forever changed by Jesus. Jesus found common ground rather than condemnation with the woman at the well (John 4). Think of the ...

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