Luke 18:15 ff and Luke 19

If I put a ✅ that means we covered in another Gospel BUT read it because each Gospel takes a different view.

  • ✅ The Little Children
  • ✅ The Rich Man
  • ✅ Jesus predicts his death for the 3rd time
  • ✅ The Blind Beggar

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

So evidently this is one of those stories that they teach kids at church with a song.  I didn’t grow up in the church so I have no idea what the pastor refers to.  Oh, and can I just say for the record, don’t start a sentence with “You know the story of…”  I hear Pastors say that all the time and it made me feel like I was literally the only one in the room that never heard it.  “You know the story of Nicodemus coming at night….The Prodigal Son….The Road to Damascus….”  NOPE!  They were all new to me.

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.

  • Jericho was a very wealthy town.  Herod the Great had built a “resort-like” town there for Holidays. (Tax collectors would most definitely be hated there…no  one likes paying taxes less than the wealthy 😂)
    • Taxes:
      • Poll tax (just for breathing the air Rome owned I guess)
        • age 14-65 for males
        • age 12-65 for females
      • Income Tax-10%
      • Road Tax
      • Harbor Tax
      • Fish Tax (per net AND per fish)
      • Ground Tax-1/5 all grain and wine went to Rome
      • Cart Tax- (taxed per WHEEL)
      • more +
  • Zacchaeus- the name means: ” clean/pure/innocent” (that would be like naming a bodybuilder “Tiny” or Patricia Szymanski “Sinless” 😂)
  • Chief Tax Collector- He wasn’t just “a” tax collector.  He was the “Boss” of tax collectors.  So when they say he is wealthy, he is Kardashian rich.
  • Climbed a Sycamore Fig Tree– I can’t stop thinking about how he must have stood out like Ripe Fruit on a Fig Tree. 😁

Jesus INVITES himself over to this sinner’s house.  WOW!

“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.”

In the Law of Moses, it was required to pay back any “wrong” with 20% (1/5).  If you killed someone’s animal (or someone) by accident and it would ruin the livelihood of the family THEN they were required to pay back “four times” the amount.  His tax collecting scandals were so bad that in his heart he felt the need to pay back 4X the amount admitting the seriousness of his sin.  Zacchaeus did not do this for Salvation, it was because of his Salvation (I guess he was fruit on the vine ❤️).

The Parable of the Ten Minas-

Why is Jesus telling this parable now?  He is literally headed to Jerusalem to give over His life.

“While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.”

Well, He knew that the people thought it was going to end differently this week.  They assumed Jesus would go to Jerusalem to reign as king.  Jesus’ most basic point is that the kingdom was not going to appear immediately. There would be a period of time, during which the king would be absent before the kingdom would come.  (we will get there, but it is between verse 14 and 15).

The parable:

  • The nobleman in the parable is Jesus, who left this world but who will return as King someday.
  • The servants who king charges with a task represent followers of Jesus. The Lord has given us a mission, and we must be faithful to serve Him until He returns.
  • Upon His return, Jesus will see the faithfulness of His own people.  There is work to be done, and we must use what God has given us for His glory.
  • The enemies who rejected the king in the parable are the Jewish nation that rejected Christ while He walked on earth—and everyone who still denies Him today.

So where are we on this timeline?  If it were a Billboard with a “You Are Here” spot:

14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’

“You Are Here”

15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

  • ✅Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
  • ✅Jesus at the Temple

I ❤️ the last line of today’s read…

because all the people hung on his words.