Monday, February 1, 2016

The Smallness of Zacchaeus

When I was a little boy, the only thing I knew about this man was that he was small. Later I realized that he was a tax collector and nobody has to tell someone from West Virginia the government is bad and the tax collectors are the worst of the worst. Later when I was studying the Romans, I learned that many tax collectors were allowed to charge what the market would stand, pay off the government, and keep the rest.
Nothing ever changes.
But it was his size that stuck in my head, since the first song I learned about him (with hand motions!) began: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he.” This is not Shakespeare in As You Like It. It isn’t even Sesame Street, but if you ever heard the tune you can never forget it. This is not so bad, because a major point of the story is the smallnessof this big powerful man. He wanted to see Jesus and could not.
You can read the rest.