Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On tax collectors...

[From July 2, 2013]

"And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors & sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples."
(Matthew 9:10)
My son is home for the summer from college.  He recently got a job with a temp agency.  He's worked at PepsiCo, as part of a moving company, and even for an auto-auction firm.  Yesterday, he got his second paycheck and was bemoaning the fact that so far, over $70 in taxes have been removed by the government.  Despite my reminding him that taxes help support out schools, roads, safety, the poor, etc., he was not assuaged.  Many have a similar gut response when it comes to taxes - and tax collectors!

In Jesus' day, tax collectors were some of the most hated people in all society.  They were fellow Jews who could extract as much money as they could from their neighbors.  So when Jesus called Matthew (who was a tax collector) to be one of his disciples, it caused a bit of a stir.  But when MORE tax collectors started coming, even the Jewish leaders started talking!  "Why dos (Jesus) eat with tax collectors & sinners?"

I think it's pretty cool that Jesus found a way into the tax collecting community, that led to many changed lives.  Once Matthew was accepted, word spread.  How much more good could we in the church do, if we cared less about what others think, and more about those who are the outcasts?

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