Luke 19:2

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, who was the chief among the tax collectors, and he was rich.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Zacchaeus climbed away from the crowd and saw Jesus without the crowd getting in his way. The crowd laughs at the lowly, to people walking the way of humility, who leave the wrongs they suffer in God’s hands and do not insist on getting back at their enemies. The crowd laughs at the lowly and says, “You helpless, miserable clod, you cannot even stick up for yourself and get back what is your own.” The crowd gets in the way and prevents Jesus from being seen. The crowd boasts and crows when it is able to get back what it owns. It blocks the sight of the one who said as he hung on the cross, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” … He ignored the crowd that was getting in his way. He instead climbed a sycamore tree, a tree of “silly fruit.” As the apostle says, “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block indeed to the Jews, [now notice the sycamore] but folly to the Gentiles.” Finally, the wise people of this world laugh at us about the cross of Christ a...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans. Christ gave sight to the blind man near Jericho; soon after, in Jericho itself, He converted Zacchæus, for no place, no road, no moment of time was idle to Christ, but all were made notable by divine mercies, benefits, and miracles, that He might teach us to do the same. "Zacchmus." This name is as it were an omen of his future righteousness and purification, for Zacchæus in Hebrew is the same as just, pure, clear. The chiefs of the publicans had many publicans, that is collectors of the taxes, under them. These taxes the Romans and Tiberius had imposed on the Jews against their will. Hence the publicans were hated by the Jews and accounted infamous, being called Parisim, that Isaiah , robbers. The chief was called Gabba; whence the word Gabella, the publicans being called Gabbaim. Angelus Caninus on Hebrew words in New Testament. And he was rich. The chiefs of the publicans were not appointed unless ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Zacchaeus was leader of the tax collectors, a man entirely abandoned to greed, whose only goal was the increase of his gains. This was the practice of the tax collectors, although Paul calls it idolatry, possibly as being suitable only for those who have no knowledge of God. Since they shamelessly, openly professed this vice, the Lord very justly joined them with the prostitutes, saying to the leaders of the Jews, “The prostitutes and the tax collectors go before you into the kingdom of God.” Zacchaeus did not continue to be among them, but he was counted worthy of mercy at Christ’s hands. He calls near those who are far away and gives light to those who are in darkness. Commentary on Luke, Homily ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Come and let us see what was the method of Zacchaeus’s conversion. He desired to see Jesus and therefore climbed into a sycamore tree, and so a seed of salvation sprouted within him. Christ saw this with the eyes of deity. Looking up, he also saw Zacchaeus with the eyes of humanity, and since it was his purpose for all to be saved, he extends his gentleness to him. To encourage him, he says, “Come down quickly.” Zacchaeus searched to see Christ, but the multitude prevented him, not so much that of the people but of his sins. He was short of stature, not merely in a bodily point of view but also spiritually. He could not see him unless he were raised up from the earth and climbed into the sycamore, by which Christ was about to pass. The story contains a puzzle. In no other way can a person see Christ and believe in him except by climbing up into the sycamore, by making foolish his earthly members of fornication, uncleanness, etc. Commentary on Luke, Homily ...

Jerome

AD 420
There certainly is much truth in a certain saying of a philosopher, “Every rich man is either wicked or the heir of wickedness.” That is why the Lord and Savior says that it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Someone may raise the objection, “How did wealthy Zacchaeus enter the kingdom of heaven?” He gave away his wealth and immediately replaced it with the riches of the heavenly kingdom. The Lord and Savior did not say that the rich would not enter the kingdom of heaven but that they will enter with difficulty. (). ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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