The making of Luke 19:1-10 “Zacchaeus and the sycamore fig in Jericho”
1) Luke reads Mark 11:12-14 (Cursing the fig tree)
Mark 11:13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
This story is placed in GMark after the story of the royal entry
2) Luke is wondering what Mark might mean
Luke's possible question: What did Jesus seek on the fig tree (Greek: Syke) in the springtime?
Luke's possible answer: Maybe the so called „early figs“.
3) Luke knows that Mark loved OT-allusions
Luke finds in the Septuagint two verses with the so called „early figs“, one of them is Hosea 9:10
I found Israel as grapes in the wilderness, and I saw their fathers as an early watchman in a fig-tree:
῾Ως σταφυλὴν ἐν ἐρήμῳ εὗρον τὸν ᾿Ισραὴλ καὶ ὡς σκοπὸν ἐν συκῇ πρώϊμον πατέρας αὐτῶν εἶδον
Luke notes that Hosea 9:10 used a metaphor for the early fig: σκοπὸν πρώϊμον (early watchman
4) Luke presents a story about such an early watchman: Zacchaeus
This story is placed in GLuke shortly before the story of the royal entry
. Zacchaeus climbed up a sycamore fig tree (Greek: Sykomorea). The significant point of the story is that Jesus found Zacchaeus on the sycamore fig. Therefore Jesus honored Zacchaeus.
1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”
6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”