I have Health Science BS from Christian college. I've been Christian since teenager, studying bible every day. I enjoy history & research.
1. Zacchaeus before Meeting Jesus
2. Zacchaeus after Jesus Death
3. Links and Resources
4. Video Sermon: Be Like Zacchaeus
5. Video: Zacchaeus Song
1. Zacchaeus Before Meeting Jesus
In the Bible is the true story of how Jesus changed a crooked, robbing tax collector named Zacchaeus into one of His most devoted followers.
Zacchaeus was a very wealthy Jew, but a despised and scorned Jew. He was considered a traitor by his people. He was a tax collector for the hated Roman government. This position was typically abused for the enrichment of the tax collector. Zacchaeus and his fellow publicans stuck together and defended each other.
Although many of the Jews considered Zacchaeus a hopeless sinner, God had found a soft spot in his heart. Zacchaeus listened to John the Baptist's appeals to turn to God and was convicted by his preaching. He had heard the Baptist say for tax collectors to take no more than what they were due, but at that time he had paid no attention to it.
But then he began to hear about a new young rabbi named Jesus. This Jesus treated despised sinners like Zacchaeus with kindness and courtesy. Plus in his trusted inner circle was Matthew, a tax collector gone straight. This began to give Zacchaeus hope that maybe his life could change.
Zacchaeus decided to start following God and straighten out his life. He started first with being honest with his tax collecting and collected no more than what he was due, like John the Baptist said. He returned money he had cheated and taken from people. He began to help the poor.
But Zacchaeus found changing his life to be hard. He past reputation was following him. People didn't trust his motives. They thought he was up to no good. "He has lived a crooked life for so long, why change now," people thought..
Zacchaeus was tempted to be discouraged. But then he heard that the young Galilean rabbi, Jesus, was outside the gates of the city and headed into town. If only he could see him and look upon his face. Zacchaeus hurried down the street and found the crowd surrounding and following Jesus.
But Zacchaeus had a problem. He was a short little man and could not see over the crowd. He tried to push his way through to reach Jesus, but no one would give way to him. Zacchaeus determined on a different strategy to see Jesus. He ran down the street ahead of the crowd to a tree with a large limb stretching out over the road. He climbed up into the tree and out onto the limb. He sat there, waiting to see Jesus. The crowd paused underneath Zacchaeus.
The Holy Spirit revealed to Jesus everything about His new struggling follower, Zacchaeus. So when Jesus reached the tree where he was eagerly waiting, Jesus stopped, looked up with a smile at Zacchaeus, and said," Zacchaeus, come down, for I am going to your house today."
When Zacchaeus saw Jesus look up at him with a kind face and a smile, and then announce before everyone that He was going to his house, he was shocked. As if in a dream, Zacchaeus came down from his perch in the tree and led the way to his home.
When the religious leaders saw Jesus go with Zacchaeus, they frowned and wagged their heads in scorn. They said,"He goes to eat with sinners."
Let this be a lesson to all of us. Never think that anyone is beyond the reach of God, no matter how hopeless they seem. Zacchaeus was a despised, crooked, cheating tax collector. The lowest of the low. Yet the Lord was able to reach him. When anyone comes to you and say they want to change their lives, encourage them. Otherwise you may be discouraging a new born baby of the Lord.
Jesus spent the day with Zacchaeus and his friends teaching them. Zacchaeus then said,"I give half my possessions to the poor. If I have cheated anybody, I will pay back four times the amount." This promise of doing what he could to correct what he had done to hurt other people was the evidence that Zacchaeus was truly converted in his heart and mind.
2. Zacchaeus after Jesus Death
According to church traditions, while Zacchaeus was straightening out his life, he joined Jesus' group of 70 disciples (Luke 10:1,17). Before his conversion he had had the support in crime of his fellow publicans. Now after his conversion, he had the support of the seventy disciples. They counseled him on things to do to change his life, and gave him spiritual instruction. Others in this group were supposed to be
- Joseph Barsabas and Ananias, bishop of Damascas, who were martyred under Nero
- Archipees who suffered martyrdom at Chronae, near Laodicea
- John Mark who wrote the gospel of Mark
- Agabus mentioned in the book of Acts
- Stephen a Gentile convert and a martyr in the book of Acts
- Matthias who replaced Judas the traitor
After he finished straightening out his personal business, Zaccheaus traveled with the Apostle Peter in ministry. After a while, Peter appointed him bishop of Ceasarea in Palestine where he lived out the rest of his life in ministry to the church. Zaccheaus died an old man in peace.
3. Links and Resources
Bible Luke 19:1-10
other different internet articles on different church traditions about Zacchaeus
Video: Be Like Zacchaeus
5. Zacchaeus Song
6. Poll on the Story of Zacchaeus
© 2020 Doneta Wrate
Doneta Wrate (author) from Michigan on April 05, 2020:
Thank you for your comments on my articles. I take it as a sincere compliment. My husband and I like your comparison with Danny Devito.
Bev G from Wales, UK on April 05, 2020:
In my imagination I can see Zacchaeus as a sort of Danny DeVito figure :) Nice job on breathing life into him.
Doneta Wrate (author) from Michigan on March 25, 2020:
Thank you for your comments. People can change. Jesus died for us so such miracles could happen. God's grace is a wonderful thing.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 24, 2020:
Very interesting, that part two. Zacchaeus becoming an actual follower sounds credible. A good lesson in redemption and restoration. Thank you.