O GOD, I THANK YOU THAT I

AM NOT LIKE THE REST OF
HUMANITY—GREEDY,
DISHONEST, ADULTEROUS
—OR EVEN LIKE THIS TAX
COLLECTOR. BUT THE TAX
COLLECTOR STOOD OFF AT
A DISTANCE AND WOULD
NOT EVEN RAISE HIS EYES
TO HEAVEN BUT BEAT HIS
BREAST AND PRAYED, ‘O
GOD, BE MERCIFUL TO ME
A SINNER.’
LUKE 18: 10;
13.
DISCIPLES MUST
DEPEND ON GOD
RATHER THAN
THEMSELVES.
PARABLE: THIS
PARABLE IS UNIQUE
TO LUKE. WE CANNOT
FIND IT IN THE OTHER
SYNOPTIC GOSPEL
(MATTHEW AND
MARK) AND JOHN.
FOR LUKE, SELF CONFIDENT
BOASTING OF ONE’S GOOD
DEEDS WILL NOT ACHIEVE
ACQUITTAL AT GOD’S
JUDGEMENT. THE INTENTION
OF A PARABLE IS TO ALLOW US
TO BE JOLTED/TAUGHT OF THE
SITUATION IN THE EXAMPLE
STORY AND APPLY IT TO OUR
OWN LIVES.
PHARISEES: A MEMBER OF AN
ANCIENT JEWISH SECT,
DISTINGUISHED BY STRICT
OBSERVANCE OF THE
TRADITIONAL AND WRITTEN LAW,
AND COMMONLY HELD TO HAVE
PRETENSIONS TO SUPERIOR
SANCTITY.
TAX
COLLECTORS:
THEY ARE
PUBLICANS,
PUBLICLY
DECLARED
SINNERS. THEY
WERE REVILED
BY THE JEWS OF
JESUS' DAY
BECAUSE
OF THEIR PERCEIVED
GREED AND
COLLABORATION WITH THE
ROMAN OCCUPIERS. TAX
COLLECTORS AMASSED
PERSONAL WEALTH BY
DEMANDING TAX
PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF
WHAT ROME LEVIED AND
KEEPING THE DIFFERENCE.
IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE,
JESUS SYMPATHIZES WITH
THE TAX COLLECTOR
ZACCHAEUS
CAUSING OUTRAGE
FROM THE CROWDS
THAT JESUS WOULD
RATHER BE THE GUEST
OF A SINNER THAN OF
A MORE RESPECTABLE
OR "RIGHTEOUS"
PERSON.
BUT IN LUKE 19:8 – 10,
ZACCHAEUS STOOD
THERE AND SAID TO THE
LORD, “BEHOLD, HALF
OF MY POSSESSIONS,
LORD, I SHALL GIVE TO
THE POOR, AND
IF I HAVE EXTORTED
ANYTHING FROM ANYONE I
SHALL REPAY IT FOUR
TIMES OVER.” AND JESUS
SAID TO HIM, “TODAY
SALVATION HAS COME TO
THIS HOUSE BECAUSE THIS
MAN TOO IS A
DESCENDANT OF
ABRAHAM.
FOR THE SON OF MAN HAS
COME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE
WHAT WAS LOST.” JESUS'
PERSONAL, EARTHLY
MISSION TO BRING
SALVATION TO THE LOST AND
NOT TO PEOPLE WHO
PERCEIVE THEMSELVES TO BE
HOLIER THAN OTHERS OR
RIGHTEOUS IN THEIR WAYS.
BY THE WAY, THE MEANING
OF THE NAME OF
ZACCHAEUS IS CLEAN.
SAINT MATTHEW, OR LEVI WAS
A TAX COLLECTOR. HE WAS
CALLED BY JESUS TO BE A
PART OF THE BAND OF
DISCIPLES AND LATER SENT TO
VARIOUS MISSIONS.
IN MATTHEW 9:9-13, WE
FIND THE FOLLOWING;
“… AS JESUS PASSED ON
FROM THERE, HE SAW A
MAN NAMED MATTHEW
SITTING AT THE CUSTOMS
POST. HE SAID TO HIM,
“FOLLOW ME.” AND HE
GOT UP AND FOLLOWED
WHILE HE WAS AT TABLE IN
HIS HOUSE, MANY TAX
COLLECTORS AND SINNERS
CAME AND SAT WITH JESUS
AND HIS DISCIPLES. THE
PHARISEES SAW THIS AND
SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES,
WHY DOES YOUR TEACHER EAT
WITH TAX COLLECTORS AND
SINNERS?” HE HEARD THIS
AND SAID, “THOSE WHO ARE
WELL DO NOT NEED A
PHYSICIAN, BUT THE SICK DO.
GO AND LEARN THE MEANING
OF THE WORDS, ‘I DESIRE
MERCY, NOT SACRIFICE. I DID
NOT COME TO CALL THE
RIGHTEOUS BUT SINNERS.”
BEAT HIS BREAST:
A SIGN OF REPENTANCE.
Lesson
JUSTIFIED/
ACQUITTED/
PINAWALANG
SALA:
THE TAX COLLECTOR IS
ACQUITTED AT GOD’S
COURT OF JUSTICE, HE
HAS RECOGNIZED HIS
NEED OF GOD’S MERCY
AND HAS SHOWN
SORROW FOR HIS
SINS.
THE PHARISEES ON
THE OTHER HAND,
DOES NOT NEED GOD’S
FREE GIFT OF
JUSTIFICATION/PAGPAP
AWALANG SALA, FOR
HE HAS ALREADY
ACQUITTED HIMSELF.