Short Tax Collectors

There was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn't because of the crowd, because he was short. He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.' Luke 19:2 WEB

Tax collectors were one of the lowest social classes in Israel during the ministry of Jesus. They were usually Jews that worked for the Roman occupiers to collect taxes from the people. They were considered traitors, and hated by nearly everyone.

The Roman tax system was very complex, and they auctioned the tax farming jobs to the highest bidder. The winner would pay Rome in advance, then go and collect the taxes from the people. Whatever extra turned up, they could keep for themselves. The system was ripe with corruption. They became very wealthy, while the people became poor. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector.

When Jesus came to visit his town, the road was so crowded with people that Zacchaeus could not see Him, because he was a short man. So Zacchaeus ran on ahead and climbed up a tree so that he could get a better view of Jesus. When Jesus came to the tree, He stopped, looked up and called Zacchaeus by name. Then Jesus said that he had come to eat with him at his house that day.

Jesus passed by huge crowds of people, to get to the one that was desperate to see Him. He could just have easily eaten at a priest's house. Jesus chose the one who was an outcast, but was so desperate that he would climb a tree just to get a glimpse of Him. Jesus went to Zacchaeus' house and spent time with him, while the religious leaders stood outside and watched in disgust.

The Lord loves the outcast. I have lived this and as one of least of the least, saw the Holy Spirit show up at my work place, during a dead season at our church. You may feel like you are standing in the back of the line, unnoticed, and disliked by everyone around you, but the Lord will pass by a thousand people to get to the one that wants to see Him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please let me see people through Your eyes. Let me comfort the broken hearted, heal the rejected, and recover the outcasts. I want more of You in my life. Lead me into all that You have for me, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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