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Know God in a Year #173 Whatever it Takes

Jericho sat like an emerald in the limestone cliffs and ravines surrounding it on the way to Jerusalem. With its palm trees and gardens watered by natural springs, it was an oasis of life, a beautiful center for business. Many caravans passed through it; and many Roman officials, priests, and government workers lived there.
Zacchaeus is the chief tax collector living there. He’s a Jew and hated by his own because he works for Rome. He’s wealthy and known for extortion, but he hears John preach at the Jordan, not far from Jericho, and his heart opens.
When he hears that one of Jesus’ followers is a tax collector, hope that he can change takes hold, and he begins to make restitution following Spirit’s promptings. However, he is discouraged at the suspicion that meets his efforts to improve.
Caravans enroute to Passover are going through Jericho. The word on the street is that Jesus and company will be passing through Jericho as he returns to Jerusalem.
Hearing this, Zacchaeus determines to see him, at least to look at Jesus whose reported words have given hope.
But the streets are packed with people; and being short he can’t see over them! And no one will let him through! What can he do?
An idea comes–and running ahead of the crowd, he climbs up a fig tree with low wide branches, then called a sycamore,* and scans the crowd looking for Jesus. He feels sure he will know him.
Luke 19:1-4  *An Egyptian fig was called a sycamore tree–Cambridge Bible note
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