In a town called Jericho
Zacchaeus used to live.
He was a very wealthy man
Who'd rather get than give.
His job? Collecting taxes
For Roman rulers there.
He'd often cheat, demanding more
Than what was his fair share.
Because of this he was disliked
By folks in Jericho.
Zacchaeus didn't seem to mind;
He loved his money so.
So every day he'd go about
The duties of the day--
Collecting more than what was due
And forcing folks to pay.
Zacchaeus was a learned man
Who kept up with the news.
He'd heard of Jesus Christ before
As had most other Jews.
He often wished that he could meet
This man who some called Lord,
But he was so busy gaining wealth
He couldn't the time afford.
But one bright day in Jericho
Was such a lovely day
Zacchaeus thought, "I'll go collect
Past due accounts today."
So off he went on down the street--
He did feel very good
Just thinking of the tax he'd get,
Of course more than he should.
His first stop was a widow's house.
Her income was quite small.
She had a goat whose milk she'd sell;
That wasn't much at all.
Although her income was so small
It always seemed to be
Enough to barely pay her bills
And feed her family.
Zacchaeus finally arrived
At her front door and knocked,
And when the widow opened it
She was a little shocked.
He told her how much tax she owed
And said, "You have to pay
Because your tax is overdue.
You'll have to pay today."
Zacchaeus knew how poor she was.
Her income was so slight.
He didn't care how hard it was.
He wanted every mite.
She hung her head and in despair
She pleaded for more time.
Zacchaeus, hardened as he was,
Said, "No, I want what's mine."
She then explained as best she could
How little she possessed,
But that she'd give him what she had
And in time pay the rest.
Zacchaeus said, "Not good enough.
I cannot be so lax.
You own a goat that you can sell
And quickly pay the tax."
"Good sir," she pleaded on her knees,
"My goat I cannot sell
For it's my only livelihood.
I'd lose my house as well."
Zacchaeus just would not be swayed.
"This tax you have to pay.
I'll be back here tomorrow
For the full amount. Good day!"
So off he went and checked his list
For the next account past due.
Then suddenly he heard a shout
That Christ was coming through.