I thought since today was tax day I’d blog about taxes.

Did you know that taxes have been a sore subject since biblical times. It’s true. Matthew, one of the chosen disciples was a tax collector.  I’m sure the other disciples were murmuring under their breath over the fact that he was chosen for the Lord’s inner circle. Employed by the Roman government to collect duty for Caesar, Jewish tax collectors like Matt aka” Levi, made their money by extracting more than was owed for their “commission.” Whatever they could collect over and above what was supposed to go to Rome, was their daily wage. So your neighbor might get off paying an extra 5% and you might have to pay an extra 15%.

How unfair was that? But that’s how it worked. No wonder Matthew and his fellow tax buddies were hated by their Hebrew brothers.

One of my favorite NT verses concerns another Jewish tax collector named Zacchaeus. He was that wee little man you and I used to sing about in Sunday School. Here’s what the Bible says about him in Luke chapter 19:

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Zacchaeus exchanged greed for a seat at the table with Jesus. His change of heart was his “salvation.”  Oh, the power of a tall Sycamore tree!

So if you’re feeling “taxed to the max” today, take heart. Who knows what good may come out of it?

Something to think about.

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