God loves tax collectors

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Yes, it’s true.

God loves tax collectors.

This is the story of a short man who was up a tree. Yep, sittin’ in a tree.

There was a great crowd of people who were pressing in to see who was walking down the street. Who was this, a celebrity?

Zacchaeus was a short man so he climbed up a tree so he could see who was walking down the street towards him.

It was Jesus. Jesus was passing through Jericho and it attracted large crowds. Everyone wanted to see Him. And why wouldn’t they? Who doesn’t need a miracle?

So with all these people around, Jesus picked Zacchaeus out of the crowd, er, tree. “ Zacchaeus, hurry up and come down from the tree, for today I must stay at your house.”

Of course, Zacchaeus came down and received Jesus into his house joyfully.

Oh, did I mention that Zacchaeus was a tax collector?!

But when the crowd saw it, they complained saying, “Jesus has gone to be a guest of a man who is a sinner.” (They were jealous, I think.)

Zacchaeus heard this, and stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I will give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I will pay him back fourfold.”

Tax collectors of that time were notorious for making people pay more taxes than they really owed. Then they would ‘skim’ off the top. But when Zacchaeus met Jesus–first, he called him Lord. Then Zacchaeus repented of his ways: he decided to turn around the way he had been doing things, and to do things a different way.

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham, for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Zacchaeus was a Jewish man who was descended from Abraham.

(See Luke 19:1-10 for the whole story.)

Through Jesus, we can all be sons (and daughters) of Abraham by faith.

 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all  –Romans 4:16

So if God can love even a tax collector, He can love you too!

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