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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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63 news items

American Spectator (blog)
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:15:00 -0700

No one has ever really liked tax collectors—from the days when Jesus walked the earth and rebuked Zacchaeus for exploiting the least of these to the twenty-first century when IRS employees guilty of back-payments on taxes, fraud, and other ...
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 ...

Atmore News

Atmore News
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:03:45 -0700

Melanie Griffith's second grade class, from left, A / B honor roll – Shantel Weaver, Jake Smith, Mark Simmons, Jaylin Phillips, Kobe Martin, Keshawna Hill, ZyAdrian Frye, Zacchaeus Banks, Lorenzo Arnold; all A honor roll – Elizabeth Mitchelle, Keeshan ...
Muskogee Daily Phoenix
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:01:24 -0700

People were appalled because as Jesus approached the tree where Zacchaeus was perched, He called the man by name and told him to come down because Jesus needed a place to stay. Evidently Jesus felt the need to spend some time at Zacchaeus's ...

This Is Lancashire

This Is Lancashire
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:57:59 -0700

Other child actors were Josh Greaves who played Zacchaeus, Kendal Lucas who played Bartimaeus, together with Macy Booth, Sophie Booth, Maayan, Jessica Wild, Georgi Walmsley, Jacqueline Armstrong, Maya Malecka, Olivia Granger and Poppy ...
Killeen Daily Herald
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:16:03 -0700

Hank Perry, the battalion's commander. Perry and battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Zacchaeus Hurst uncased the unit's colors during a homecoming ceremony at Cooper Field. Davis and hundreds of other family members came out to welcome the troops home.
McComb Enterprise Journal
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Second row: Ariel Hutson, MHS, Dale Hall, SPHS, Ashunti Robinson, SPHS, Kalie Green, NPHS, Helen Henderson, NPHS, McKenzie Brock, NPHS, DanaRaye Parks, NPHS, Briana Tobias, NPHS. Third Row: Zachary Schilling, MHS, Zacchaeus McEwen, ...
Miami News Record
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:07:30 -0700

A wee little man, named Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, so he climbed up into a sycamore tree. This man was chief among the publicans, and he was rich. Jesus saw him, and said, "Zacchaeus, make haste, come down for today I must abide at your house!

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