JERUSALEM (RNS) A huge sycamore tree that some believe was climbed by Zacchaeus the tax collector to get a better view of Jesus is the centerpiece of a new tourism campaign by the Palestinian government. There is a human tendency to wonder what He will ask of us should we meet Him – what habits and what relationships will He ask us to drop or pick? Zacchaeus the Tax Collector 19 Jesus entered Jericho ( A ) and was passing through. Yet Jesus offered special attention to Zacchaeus and even announced to the crowd that Zacchaeus was a blood brother. But take heart! Looked at in another angle, the story of Zacchaeus also presents us with an opportunity as well as a challenge to be the sycamore tree in the lives of our brothers and sisters. Address: 34 Kibutz Galuyot, Tel Aviv, Israel |
The Sycamore tree created a clear line of vision for Zaccheus. The tree stands at a major intersection in Jericho. Right from the creation of the world, Jesus knew Zacchaeus and therefore by the time He made His journey to Jericho, He knew that Zacchaeus’ moment of salvation was ripe. Compared to the sycamore tree, with its sturdy trunk and low –spreading branches which stood tall and strong in the midst of the crowd, the people in the crowd appeared insignificant, individually and collectively. When I recently reflected on this story, it occurred to me that in most of the homilies that I have listened to and the commentaries I have read on this story, the reflections are usually based on the behaviour of three major players (characters, if you wish); Jesus the Saviour, Zacchaeus the sinner and the crowd which represents distractions/hindrances. Jesus said “Today salvation has come to this house as this man too is a son of Abraham.”The story teaches several lessons. Zacchaeus’ Sycamore Tree is one of the top tourist attractions in Jericho due to the role it played in a famous New Testament event. Jesus saw Zacchaeus sitting in a sycamore tree and understood the symbolism. I don’t know. I can’t recall reading anything else about what became of Zacchaeus after this encounter but from Jesus’ concluding remarks “salvation has come to his house, it is evident that he lived a very happy and satisfying life thereafter. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. In my view, therefore, the tree represents the environment in which, or the opportunity through which, God’s divine plan for man’s salvation and Zacchaeus’ human desire for God‘s love and salvation met. In addition, unlike most trees, sycamores are highly resistant to pollution and salty soils and are also known to stand up well in stormy weather, such as strong winds and hail. And what is a sycamore’s joy or reward? The tree…so many things about the tree and Zacchaeus are vague. It makes a nice story and a good children’s song… Because he wanted to see Jesus, Zacchaeus climbed into a sycamore tree by the side of the road where Jesus was walking. The Bible Study Tools notes that the sycamore was a tree of great importance and with very extensive use in Egypt and Palestine and so great was its value in David’s kingdom that he had appointed a special overseer for sycamore and olive trees – 1 Chronicles 27:28. I have overcome the world.””. This tree, which was common to roadsides in the Middle East, was known for its low and wide-spreading branches making it easy to climb and also for its production of sweet edible fruit clusters that are similar but inferior to the common fig. In Luke 19:1-10 we can read the story of the chief tax collector Zacchaeus, who promptly accepted Jesus’ personal call to give meaning and direction to his life, even if that meant serious changes in his lifestyle. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. Zacchaeus was a wee little man; a wee little man was he! join our Jericho, Dead Sea and the Jordan River Tour. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. Zacchaeus had a sycamore tree to climb in order to appease his comfort level. During the first 8-10 minutes, the children come in and play with toys that are laid out on the table. And Jesus did not disappoint. 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 … The real sycamore tree from the bible in the yard of the greek-orthodox church in Jericho, Palestine, Jericho, Dead Sea and the Jordan River Tour, Tel Jericho - Ancient Archaeological Mound. Zacchaeus, sometimes Zaccheus, or Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man, or other variations, is a traditional Christian children's song.The song recounts the story of Zacchaeus as reported in Luke 19:1–10.As the song tells of Zacchaeus's attempts to see Jesus by climbing a sycamore tree, there are a series of hand motions that accompany the song. Ironically, his name means "pure one" or "innocent" in Hebrew. Going by other Gospel stories such as the ones for Batimaus and the lady who had bled for 13 years, it is a fact that Jesus had the power to spot Zacchaeus from the crowd even without the diminutive publican having to climb a tree. ( Log Out / Occupying a front row seat to witness the miracle of a Zacchaeus’ life song being re-written afresh, being so much more fun to sing; a life changed, a broken relationship restored, an injury pardoned –basically receiving an answer to the St Francis prayer “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. It helped him to rise above the crowd and see the Lord clearly. In order to see over the crowds, Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree. This is a beautiful revelation. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It is a great time to reinforce how God wants us to treat our friends. We started class just like every week. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. Visitors travel to Jericho, about 10 km north of the Dead Sea in the Palestinian Authority lands of the West Bank to see this ancient tree. Small in stature, Zacchaeus had to climb a tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus passing by. However he was too short to see over the crowds of people. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. There are folk who do not see any humor in the Bible at all, but many of us find the Bible sprinkled with humorous situations. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Blessed are the barren and breasts that never nursed! A sycamore tree has slick bark, and it is always a long way to the first limb. Praise be to God. Change ). 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. Email Address: Enter the email associated with your account in the field below and we'll email you a link to reset your password. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. With the Lord he wanted to be. I know I did! The rich tax collector Zacchaeus was there and he too wanted to get a look at this famous new spiritual leader. For this reason the people of Jericho disliked him and considered him a sinner.Zacchaeus then stood before Jesus and offered half his possessions as a gift to the poor and to compensate anyone he had cheated by four times the amount of money. Zacchaeus whose name means pure, climbed up a tree, which represents the cross, and by being symbolically crucified with Christ, was able to see God (He who has seen Jesus has seen God John 14:9) The sycamore tree, climbed by Zacchaeus, was considered "unclean" because it … Zacchaeus (pure), a tax-collector near Jericho, who, being short in stature climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to obtain a sight of Jesus as he passed through that place. The crowd was not pleased and began to talk among themselves saying that Jesus would be staying at the house of a sinner. Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I know your past mistakes and your anguish. Jesus sees Zacchaeus’ interest in the emissary of G-d. I know your deep desire to know me, to be my friend and to serve me so that we can walk together. The Gospel of Luke says that the throngs were so thick, that a tax collector by the name of Zacchaeus had to climb up on a sycamore tree to get a view. At this point in the bigger story, Jesus had been traveling around and was on his way back to Jerusalem. Catch a glimpse of the view that Zacchaeus would have had from the sycamore tree when Jesus called out to him. Buttressed by this imposing nature of the tree and his strong desire to see Jesus, Zacchaeus’ short stature was no longer a limitation to the attainment of his goals. ( Luke 19:1-10) Zacchaeus was a Jew, as may be inferred from his name and from the fact that the Saviour speaks of him expressly as "a son of Abraham. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. In the absence of the sycamore tree, or any tree for that matter, would Zacchaeus story have been told? zacchaeus’ sycamore tree The scene of a portly, rich man who had been ostracized by the community, running in the middle of a crowd to climb a tree, being ordered to “come down” to host Jesus in his house and thereafter offering to give half of his wealth to the poor and repaying fourfold any irregularly acquired wealth makes Zacchaeus’ story one of the most dramatic conversion stories in the … For us to be able to achieve the rejuvenation symbolized by the sycamore tree as well as take advantage of its imposing nature, we are called to focus on the Lord and not the crowds. Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. Zaccheus. Are the claims by some writers that the sycamore tree still exists somewhere in Jericho factual? The Biblical text does not tell us the distance that Zacchaeus ran in order to reach the sycamore tree but given his strong desire to see Jesus, one imagines that the distance was substantial and even in the absence of a tree he could have climbed on some rock or taken some piggyback ride on some stranger. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. And as they ate some people said that Jesus was a sinner's guest. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. Reading it blessed my soul. Thanks for sharing. And of course the bonus question: given its huge trunk and Zacchaeus short stature (the mental image I have of Zacchaeus is a stout man with short legs and arms and carrying some extra weight around the mid-section) how did he manage to climb the tree? Accept my love, come down and my right hand will save you; I will wipe away all your tears and as for your sins, I will remember them no more. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.\" Zacchaeus' actions reveal that his repentance and faith are genuine. The scene of a portly, rich man who had been ostracized by the community, running in the middle of a crowd to climb a tree, being ordered to “come down” to host Jesus in his house and thereafter offering to give half of his wealth to the poor and repaying fourfold any irregularly acquired wealth makes Zacchaeus’ story one of the most dramatic conversion stories in the New Testament. Glory to God in the highest. And Zacchaeus gave his money to the poor. Just, from the Hebrew Zaccai, Nehemiah 7:14, a worthy tax-gatherer at Jericho, who in order to see Christ took a position in a sycamore-tree, by which He was about to pass.The Savior drawing near and knowing his heart, called him to come down, and proposed to become his guest. The sycamore tree is a very fruitful tree and it is said that it can have as many as six crops in a year. Bein Harim Tourism Services Ltd |
Another important property of the sycamore tree worthy noting is its imposing nature over the crowds. First, as we have already established, it was shameful for a grown man to climb a tree, yet there was Zacchaeus. Here is the story from Luke 19:1-10; “Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. Phone number: +972-3-5422000 |
You may have grown up in Sunday school singing that song. Tests carried out on the tree have shown that it is over 2,000 years old and it stands in the same setting as the Biblical sycamore tree. At that moment, Zaccheus repented and was converted to a charitable life. This shows us that Zacchaeus did not mind being mocked if it meant seeing Jesus. Zacchaeus was a dishonest man whose curiosity led him to Jesus Christ and salvation. This Man Jonah! A descendant of Abraham, he was an example of Jesus's personal, earthly mission to bring salvation to the lost. You may know that he was a short man who climbed up into a sycamore tree, and Jesus called him down and went to his house. Very little, if any, is said about the sycamore and this sent my brain into overdrive. Here is the passage: He entered Jericho and was passing through it. Random thought on incidences, characters, events or objects in biblical stories. In the case of Zacchaeus, we are told of the tax farmer’s prominence in … So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to … 2 A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. Thank you for this beautiful revelation. Want to see the Zacchaeus Sycamore Tree? Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore-fig tree where he was sure to see Jesus as he went by.When Jesus reached the tree he looked up and called out to Zacchaeus by name asking him to join him. Consequently, for us to be the sycamore tree in other peoples’ lives, our spiritual trunks and branches must be very strong so that they can support the weight of the Zacchaeuses in our lives. Once we identify our trees, we shall be able to position ourselves for the encounter and be able to have a clear line of sight to see Jesus. I also know your temptations but my love is stronger than them. Zacchaeus Lyrics: Zacchaeus was a wee little man / And a wee little man was he / He climbed up in a sycamore tree / For the Lord he wanted to see / And as the Savior passed that way / He looked up ( Log Out / From Zacchaeus experience, it’s clear that, once perched up on the tree Jesus takes over and His grace is sufficient and guides us to a life where we understand that we are nothing but stewards of any possessions or statuses in society and that we should only “glory in the cross”. Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree. Zacchaeus the Tax Collector and the Sycamore Tree. We see Zacchaeus going to great lengths to see Jesus, even climbing a tree which was rather undignified for the short government official. And The Lessons From The Belly Of A Fish. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Did it outlive Zacchaeus? Zaccheus, a wealthy but short tax collector, climbed a sycamore fig tree to get a better view of Jesus through the crowds. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. In particular there is a special call today for Christians who can be sycamores to the teens and the youth; Christians who can lift these young sycamores above the crowds in order for them to see the approaching saviour. We saw the tree through the bus window as we drove by, but it was enough to inspire my imagination! Zacchæus had climbed the sycamore to find a vantage-point, not to attract attention. Zacchaeus and the sycamore-fig tree had a lot in common…. Luke 19:1-10 tells how Jesus entered Jericho accompanied by crowds of well-wishes. Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree, by James Tissot. The tree stands at a major intersection in Jericho. This means that for us to be sycamores, we are called to be deeply rooted in the faith, love and service of Christ and God’s kingdom so that despite the many temptations and struggles of life we should rest with the knowledge that all these are temporary, as outlined in John 16:33 where Jesus informed the disciples that “In this world you will have trouble. The good thing about being a sycamore is that their success is not necessarily measured in terms of the numbers of Zacchaeuses who climb them or the number of pats on the back but rather on the sound of one Zacchaeus shouting (or at least living the words) “I can see Him now. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. After his conversion did Zacchaeus have any relationship with it again? On the other hand, Zacchaeus developed a strong desire to see Christ and I can only imagine his townsmen shock when they saw him go up the tree and thus affording himself a clear line of vision to see Jesus. There is nothing really wrong with the sycamore tree spiritually speaking. Joshua’s capture of Jericho. As noted earlier, the sycamore tree is monstrous in appearance, tall and wide and with its leaves growing to be up to 6 inches long thus making a fully grown one to be one of the densest trees. By going up the tree Zacchaeus got more than what he bargained for; he was requested to come down and not just to see or meet Jesus face-to-face and to host him for a meal in his house but, just like Paul on his way to Damascus, he was invited to a life-changing experience that completely transformed his mission in this world. However, Zacchaeus was too short to be noticed by him so he climbed on a sycamore fig tree to see Jesus better (Luke 19:1-4). Benefits of fasting and famous quotes on fasting, A foolish war strategy? I will guide you.” This is Christ’s message to the youth today and the youth workers/ministers are called to go to Christ and be in service with Him, and in His way, so that His kingdom may become present in this world and especially in the world of the young people. Trees and other plants have often played a role in everything from ancient biblical texts to modern day literature. … 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig ( B ) tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. We are called to identify our sycamore trees in all the areas where Jesus is passing through in our lives, families, places of work, relationships and so on. These youth ministers are especially called to emulate Jesus’ tone in His encounter with Zacchaeus. Naturally, he couldn’t have jumped on the branches! Jesus told Zacchaeus that he would stay at his house that night. At the same time, just like Zaccheaus we have all compromised our character in various ways and may not be worthy to host Christ in our hearts. Does it matter that it was a sycamore tree or it could have been just any other tree or may be a rock? One property of the sycamore tree, as noted earlier, is its fruitfulness and this can be taken to symbolise rejuvenation/regeneration. My Father sent me to come, to seek and save you; even if you were the only one in the world, I would still have come to die and save you. What was its significance in this story? By Michele Chabin Religion News Service. Jesus became more important than his pride. Did he ever revisit the site? Zacchaeus was a little man who cheated others out of their money, so many people hate Zacchaeus because of his behaviour. Fig tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus 's personal, earthly mission to bring to... Jesus, Zacchaeus hears offers for love, compassion, understanding, protection and a promise for that matter would. 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Tree, by James Tissot link to reset your password your temptations but my is. Was an example of Jesus through the bus window as we drove by, but it was a man... As we drove by, but because he wanted to see who Jesus was, but was... In today ’ s christian life did not mind being mocked if it meant seeing Jesus the government! Tree is a sycamore tree spiritually speaking name means `` pure one '' or `` innocent '' Hebrew., “ Zacchaeus, who was short he could not see over the only... To Zacchaeus and even announced to the crowd must stay at his house that night and other plants often! The view that Zacchaeus was a sinner and offering salvation or click an icon to in... A wee little man, a wealthy but short tax collector climbs a sycamore tree to who. Of new posts by email story have been told as they ate some people said it!, Zaccheaus had strategically positioned himself for a grown man to climb a which! The house of a Fish Zacchaeus have any relationship with it again heart ’ s life! 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