Luke 19:1 ¶ He entered Jericho and was passing through.

Luke 19:2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.

Luke 19:3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.

Luke 19:4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”

Luke 19:6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.

Luke 19:7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”

Luke 19:1–7 ESV Read More

Whenever you read the New Testament and you read “Tax collector,” you need to brew up some hate. I mean like traitor to the country, he’d spit on your grandma, ruin your day because you thought about him, rage-monster hate.

And man, he lives in Jericho. Jericho fell to Joshua and the Israelites who entered the promised land. When Joshua destroyed it, he cursed it and said that whoever rebuilt it would do so at the cost of their oldest son. Well in 1 Kings, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt it and sure enough, it cost him not only his oldest son but his youngest as well.

So we’ve got a (*&@% tax collector in an idol-worshiping city that should have never been rebuilt. Did we mention the tax-collector was rich? How did he get rich? By taking money from Jewish people and giving some of it to the Roman armies. But he is obviously taking advantage of the fact that he has the power to take money and give it to the Romans. He’s taking way more than he’s supposed to.

I’m brewing up all of this rancor so that you can see how shocking it was that Jesus would go have dinner with this guy.

It was even shocking to Zaccheus. Imagine how rejected the poor guy was. His only friends would be other tax collectors, which would live far away in other regions. The Romans that he paid might befriend him, but it would obviously be a business relationship.

And here comes a Rabbi with a reputation (remember the blind man heard about Him too) and the Rabbi will actually come to Zaccheus’ house for dinner. The disciples will come too, and probably some folks that are tagging along.

If a person popped into your head when I was describing what a dirtbag that &%^&@# tax collector Zaccheus was, what’s your next step?

Luke 19:7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”

For the next few hours. Jesus was sitting there eating dinner and having a blast.

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