Here’s a fictional episode of Zaccheus before, during, and after him seeing Jesus in Luke 19:1-10.
This is purely from my imagination and is no way meant to be an addition to Scripture nor an official interpretation of the aforementioned passage.
[A short Jewish man knocked on the door of house in the city of Jericho.].
Zaccheus: Anyone home?! Taxes are due. Time to collect.
Elderly Jericho citizen: I already used my last denarii for food. Payday is not until next week.
Zaccheus: [scowling] Fine. But be prepared when I make my next collection round.
[This was the final stop on this daily route. He stopped. This was tough work. Great money. But trying on his conscience. Zaccheus didn’t originally plan on getting into this sort of work. He felt there was no other way to support himself in this economy.]
Zaccheus: [seeing a crowd ahead he asked the nearest person on the street] What is going on?
Standerby: This miracle worker is getting everyone’s attention. Talking about the Kingdom of God. I believe his name is Jesus.
Zaccheus: Jesus? Maybe he is the one all the scribes and Pharisees were concerned about.
Jesus: The first shall be last and the last first. Love God with your whole heart and love your neighbor like yourself. This is the path to union with God.
Zaccheus: [talking to himself] I need to hear more of what this man, Jesus, is saying. Too bad I am so short and can barely see over a child. Lord, I need a sign.
[A gust blew swiftly past the tax collector. Zaccheus thought he heard the words, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Suddenly a brilliantly white light, shaped like a dove, descended from the sky and nestled on a bough of the giant sycamore tree ahead.]
Zaccheus: [Thinking to himself] “Lord, you want me to climb that mighty tree? I will look like a fool. I’m too short. Surely, I cannot reach that first limb. It’s too high.”
Zaccheus walked closer. He passed the crowd and arrived at the trunk of the sycamore. Another amazing thing happened. He noticed smaller branches at the base winding their way up the tree as to form a natural ladder.
He scampered up the leafy ladder. Finally, he reached the giant limb the light-dove landed on. The bird still was perched there.
Jesus: Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.
[Faster than he climbed, Zaccheus descended the tree]
Zaccheus: Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.
Jesus: [smiling at Zaccheus] Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
I see you met the Advocate. He will guide you when I return back to my Father.
You will meet a doctor many years later. He will ask about me. Remember our meeting Zaccheus. Tell him everything that has happened.
Zaccheus: Yes, my Lord!
[Zaccheus left a changed man. In his old age, he met a doctor named Luke. The former tax collector told the physician all that he witnessed in his encounter with Jesus.]
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Thank you for reading and hope you have a blessed day!