I have never paid attention to the meaning of “Zacchaeus,” the name of the diminutive tax collector of St. Luke 19:1-10. He was the little man perched on a sycamore tree to get a better look at Jesus. Zacchaeus, meant “pure” or “innocent.” But he was anything but that. He was a despised and hated tax collector, considered a sinner. He was an embezzler who shamelessly stole from rich and poor, a Roman tax collector hated by all. He was a little man with big money. Yet, his life was empty and lonely. Luke shows that he may have been looking for an exit strategy. Clearly, Zacchaeus did not live up to his name, “pure” or “innocent.” On the other hand, the name of Jesus meant “savior” or “salvation;” In the Greek “lesou,” or in Hebrew “Yeshua.” On the road to Jericho, a large city, Jesus stopped to speak in a village square around that large sycamore tree. Ironically, he stopped right under the tree where Zacchaeus was perched. After preaching, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” (Lk. 19:5b) Zaccheus was blown away. “How could this famous rabbi choose my place for dinner?” That evening at dinner Zacchaeus, touched by Jesus’ love, confessed his sins publically and openly declared a change of lifestyle. Jesus RESTORED Zacchaeus to the true meaning of his name as he said, “Today salvation has come to this house!” (Rom. 10:23). Has it come to yours?
In the City,