Zacchaeus has been a staple in Children’s church for years…♫♪“Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he.”♪♫ His stature makes him identifiable for children. They understand being too short to see things that all the adults get to see.
What gets lost for the children is Zacchaeus’ place in society. Most lessons that I am aware of avoid that reality. Oddly enough, we actually have a similar situation today.
It may be dressed differently, but perhaps in our technological entrepreneurs, we have the new tax collectors. Many people want to be them, if only for the wealth. Others poke at them saying that they are exploiters. Others say that they must not be paying their fair share. Others still feel trapped by them, yet still use the technology that has been developed.
There is a major difference in that the technological entrepreneurs are not the “scum” of the earth for everyone; not like Zacchaeus and the other tax collectors.
However, people don’t know what to do with them. Politicians in various capitals (state or national capitals) don’t know how to deal with them. The politicians need them, hate that need, and want to control them.
“Normal” people appreciate the tech, but now are beginning to question the trade-off. They admire the technologists, but they fear them.
The tax collectors were just hated; Jesus chose one as a follower. Tax collectors were hated; Jesus dined with them. Tax collectors were cast out from the community; Jesus came to save them.
We all now are in an interesting place. We need technology to connect with one another. We are, in many ways, more dependent upon the technologists than we used to be.
If we are not careful, we will despise them because of our dependence, and because of the control over our lives that we may perceive them to have. This is, in many respects, the same situation as the tax collectors.
The tax collectors lived well. However, they were the ones that were the first line of defense against the Romans. Give the Romans money, and they leave.
1) Who else might be the “tax collectors” in your life?
2) Are you the “righteous” or the “sinner”? Which do you act like?
Jesus, may we not act like the “righteous” and be humble and thank-filled as the “sinners”. Amen.