Zacchaeus was the most hated tax collector ever (although President Obama is trying to come in 2nd place) Part 1

Don’t Eat Your Dog: The Surprising Moral Case for Free Enterprise

I have talked about the morality of conservatism concerning welfare, and the morality of the free enterprise system, and today I am looking at the life and times of the most hated tax collector of all time, Zacchaeus!!!

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has noted, “Many Americans, for instance, are rightfully upset that the tax code is a 76.000-page monstrosity…” and  it is true that many are upset at all the double taxation that goes on in our economy.

My pastor at Fellowship Bible Church Mark Henry recently said in a sermon about Zacchaeus that he a wealthy, short, and intensely disliked tax collector. Henry noted that tax collectors back then would charge extra and pocket the surplus after the give Rome the taxes they wanted. That money was used by Rome to keep a firm grip on Jerusalem and keep the Jews under their control.  These factors made Zacchaeus the most hated tax collector that we have ever heard of before (although Obama is trying to catch up to him.)

Then Mark read this passage of scripture:

Luke 19:1-10

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Zaccheus Converted

19 He entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a [a]sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down and received Him [b]gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone [c]to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I [d]will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I [e]will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Next Mark Henry made these observations:

1. Jesus chooses to use this greedy, self-serving man as an example of what saving faith looks like.

2. Jesus called Zacchaeus by name and He’s always calling people by name.

3. This is in the Gospel story for a reason to clearly illustrate for us what Jesus’ mission really is.

4. Jesus could have mocked Zacchaeus up in that tree but instead he sought to “seek and to save that which was lost.”

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