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For the children's song, see Zacchaeus (song).
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, mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke.[2] A descendant of Abraham, he was an example of 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.

Later traditions[edit]

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

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.

In Western Christianity, the gospel pericope concerning Zacchaeus is the reading for a Dedication of a Church or its anniversary. On Dedication, red-white banners (instead of the usual yellow-white ones) are flown from the Church tower, which are consequently called the Zacchaeus flag.

Spiritual lessons[edit]

The story of Zacchaeus is used by some [6] to illustrate 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 18:18-23. Both Zacchaeus and the Rich Young Ruler were wealthy men, but one was self-righteous and would not give up his possessions, while the other gave half his possessions to feed the poor.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Milligan, Jim. "Lexicon :: Strong's G2195 - Zakchaios". Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. 
  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. ^ Rudolf Stier (1861). The Words of the Lord Jesus 4. p. 314. Trans. William Burt Pope.
  6. ^ Pastor Doug Bachelor, Study on the Wisdom of Jesus' teachings
  7. ^ A Contrast of Character | Zacchaeus and the Rich Young Ruler

 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. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Zacchaeus at Wikimedia Commons
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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78843 videos foundNext > 

Bible stories for kids - Zacchaeus ( Jesus Cartoon Animation in English )

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Zacchaeus - Little Clay Bible

The cast of the Little Clay Bible tell the story of Zacchaeus, a wee little man who was short on love, but in for a big surprise when he meets Jesus. Styled after the ...

Zacchaeus Was A Wee Little Man

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Join us as Grand Old Holy teaches lessons and stories from The Bible. Learn more about us at: http://www.happykids.tv In the town of Jericho there was a man ...


Zacchaeus was a greedy tax collector who cheated his brothers many times, until he met Jesus, who turned Zacchaeus' life around. Zacchaeus was transformed ...

Bible stories for kids - Zacchaeus ( Jesus Cartoon Animation in English )

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Steve teaches us about Zacchaeus, a man who learned to listen to Jesus and ignored everybody else.

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Cedarmont Kids - Zacchaeus

Music video by Cedarmont Kids performing Zacchaeus. (C) 1995 Cedarmont Kids.

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3502 news items

The Daily News Journal

The Daily News Journal
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 12:56:02 -0700

MURFREESBORO — Zacchaeus and LaVonia Crawford have worked to raise their children the way they were raised — to follow the law and do things right. "I always thought as long as I raised my kids the same way, they wouldn't be in the system," ...

Portales News-Tribune

Portales News-Tribune
Thu, 21 Apr 2016 16:03:45 -0700

Zacchaeus no doubt had heard that the Jesus who raised the dead and healed the sick was coming to town. News had spread all through the region about the miracles and wonders Jesus had performed. So Zacchaeus wanted just a glimpse of Jesus.

The Nation Newspaper

The Nation Newspaper
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:03:45 -0700

The commander of the vigilance group in Igbogila, Ogun State, Oluyemi Zacchaeus, has said Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, who was kidnapped on Wednesday, was sighted hooded on a bike. According to Zacchaeus, the information came from Obalado, ...

Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald

Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:15:00 -0700

Destiny L. Barrett, 24, of Rockland, probation violation, endangering the welfare of a child, 52 days in jail, probation partially revoked, probation continued. Zacchaeus W. Horn, 21, of Nashua, N.H., operating under the influence, dismissed; violating ...

New York Times

New York Times
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 13:11:54 -0700

Zacchaeus and LaVonia Crawford, who identified themselves as the parents of three of them, said in interviews that a day before the arrests, a police officer went to their home and asked whether they knew anything about the boy who was pushed and hit ...

The Tennessean

The Tennessean
Sat, 23 Apr 2016 20:11:15 -0700

The paperwork provided by father Zacchaeus Crawford for three of his children shows Judicial Commissioner Amy Anderson signed the petitions, or juvenile warrants, for the Crawford children's arrest. After the petition was signed, a plan was developed ...
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:07:30 -0700

Zacchaeus Nelson, 22, of Palatka, was driving the late-model Kia sedan and refused to pull over when deputies attempted to stop the vehicle. He was eventually captured and charged with grand theft auto, resisting arrest without violence, and possession ...

WJXT Jacksonville

WJXT Jacksonville
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:56:15 -0700

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - A Palatka man is accused of stealing a car then crashing it in Flagler County Monday, authorities said. Zacchaeus Nelson, 22, is charged with grand theft auto, resisting arrest without violence and possession of cannabis under 20 ...

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