by Geralyn McGill

A Pure Promise
Geralyn Kay McGill

Jesus did so many great works, the world could not hold the books if they were all to be told (John 21:25). Worthy of mentioning was the story of a man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus means pure, innocent, or righteous. The Hebrew name, Zakai means a pure one. Zacchaeus' name was a promise--it must have been, because Zacchaeus was a high sinner. He was a tax collector, ranked high on the registry of sinners. So this story is about how Zacchaeus became pure, Zakai, and became what his naming promised he would be.
Zacchaeus was a tax collector. In fact, he was the chief tax collector in his district. Tax collectors had a very bad reputation in those times. The Jews for a number of reasons considered them a special class of sinners. They were Jews working for the Romans. They got rich by making other people poor. They would come with troops to barge into people's homes and made them "come out with it." They would say people were holding unreported goods, whether they were or not, then plunder them. The more goods they could tax, the richer they became. To become rich was Zacchaeus' goal, and he reached it.
Zacchaeus was one type of man at that point. The crowd he belonged to, the people he looked up to, and who he had exceeded were that same type--sons of whom? Zacchaeus was a seeker, someone who inquired and searched out a matter. He wanted to know who Jesus was. He had questions about Him. Back in those days they did not have television, so he did not know what Jesus looked like. We know what our presidential family looks like, but then things were very different. I can remember going to the rallies to see the presidential candidates during the election, and being shorter than the tallest of people at the rallies. Some were sitting on others' shoulders. I can remember regretting not wearing heels, which would have made it easier. I can remember jumping and jumping to see until I was frustrated. I almost regretted going ...

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