Episode 029 – Zacchaeus Pt 5: The Amos Backdrop

Key Passage(s): Amos 7:1-8, 17; Amos 9:14

Who cares that it was a sycamore fig-tree that Zacchaeus climbed? Of all the details Luke could’ve included, why this one? Could it be the key for unlocking a substantial element to the story that is often overlooked? I believe so. And what it unlocks will push us all to think deeper and harder about how we live out the biblical concepts of justice and righteousness, and why the entire book of Amos addresses these issues and appears to ultimately inform Zacchaeus’s response. It was these connections that originally gripped by attention towards the Zacchaeus story, and I believe they will grip you as well.

Discussion Questions

  • What’s your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • What was most the most helpful thing you learned about justice and righteousness?
  • How have you traditionally understood “righteousness,” and how did this teaching help or challenge you to think differently about it?
  • What connections are you making to other stories in the Bible after being tipped off to the concepts of justice and righteousness?
  • Where are you being challenged in how you help and interact with the poor and needy?
  • How can you begin walking out these truths in the days and weeks to come?

For Further Study



  1. Good morning Brad,
    I thank you for your study and desire to help me understand the Bible. Ever since I’ve started to dig deeper I’ve sensed a deeper narrative.between the pages.. You and the Bible Project have been such a wonderful resource for me.


  2. What a powerful wrap up of the series on Luke 19! That was well-done and highly appreciated. I learned the theme of justice & righteousness last year in a Middle-Eastern lens Bible class in Franklin, TN & this added a wider/deeper understanding.

  3. Love the layers in the Bible and the connections between the books. Thank you for the gift of helping me learn more about our amazing God. He blows me away!

  4. WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW!
    It seems Jesus answers a question when responding to Zach but we see no evidence of Zach asking a question-what’s with that or is something missing of a copy of hundreds of copies of translations and no original found yet?
    The teaching before this also WOW! WOW! WOW!

    • Thanks, Bill. It does appear that Luke was selective on what he shared. By implication it appears Jesus and Zacchaeus had a bit of a conversation before Zacchaeus responds the way he does (most likely over a meal at Zacchaeus’ house).

  5. I’m learning a lot from these series. I see what you mean about going deeper in studying the Bible. Before I started viewing the weekly series, I would have never gave any thought to the Sycamore fig tree and how it’s paired up with Amos. Astounding!

  6. How did the Jewish people miss the significances of the sycamore-fig tree and Jesus’ connection to Amos in calling them back to be reconciled? They knew the teachings of the prophets well.

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