Jesus Loves Angry Midgets in the Bible | Zacchaeus
Zacchaeus Was A Thug
Zacchaeus was a thug. (The story is in Luke 19). The Bible says he was a short man. Since the average height was about 5'1 back then, he was probably 4-4'5 feet tall. The definition of a midget is an adult that is 4'10. By modern standards, he was a midget. Not only that, he was an angry midget.
Maybe Zacchaeus, because of his height, was constantly made fun of in
school, or maybe everyone thought he'd be a failure or never amount to
much. Maybe everyone thought very 'little' of him and that's why he
became what he became. Regardless of why, he become a not so great guy.
Zacchaeus was a tax collector. What does that mean? That means he was a Biblical version of the mafia. He would collect taxes issued by Rome, then he would hike up the margin and take a huge cut. People knew that, of course. But if they didn't pay, Zacchaeus would just sick the Roman guards on them.
Zacchaeus was a Jew working for the Romans. Why is that significant? Well, the Romans conquered Israel by force, and then occupied and ruled them and taxed them. Zacchaeus was working for the enemy in deference to his own people. Zacchaeus was a traitor. This is why tax collector and sinners were often interchangeable words.
Wow. What a jerk? If I knew a guy like that today, someone who stole money from the poor, and a traitor to his own people, I would dislike him. But Jesus didn't. We all know Jesus loved the prostitutes, the poor, the sick and gave grace to all kinds of people. He also showed grace and love to wealthy, stealing traitors, like Zacchaeus, and saved them. If he could show grace to a guy like Zacchaeus, he can show grace to anyone.