Cause I’m the Taxman!

Luke 5:30 NIV 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

Apparently attitudes towards tax collectors haven’t changed much. The Pharisees and teachers of religious law during the Lord’s era combined taxmen and sinners together in the same breath. My wife and I just had a CPA inform us what we owe the IRS and right now I’m kind of going with the idea there’s not much difference between the two either—I’m lumping them together.

And yet, the Lord and His disciples are there eating dinner with them! In fact, it’s much worse—a short while earlier Jesus included a tax collector into His following. What was He thinking? That means day-in and day-out I will have to live with the association that my Savior chose to have this fellow, Levi the taxman, as His disciples!

Does that seem right to you? Evidently my attitude toward the people of the IRS may need some adjustments. And while I maybe convinced that the IRS has no soul and is a spawn of the devil, the Lord Jesus sees them as the sick needing healing. How can there be any miracles among sinners if they are rejected before conversing with them? There can’t be! It’s the sinners Jesus had come to call to repentance. It’s time I climbed down off my high horse and invited a taxman to dinner! Bon appetit!

J. Robert Hanson


  1. Hi Jack,

    There is a difference between a modern tax person and the tax collectors of the Bible. A modern tax person is simply doing her job. Like a policeman, part of his job may be giving bad news to people. The tax collector of the Bible was traitors to Jews. They were Jews who were working for the Romans. In addition to collecting taxes, they could charge any fee they wanted so they tended to be extortionist as well. That is why there was such a connection with sinners (generally notorious sinners like known thieves, prostitutes, etc.) and tax collections (known extortionist and traitors). Probably the closest we have today would be prostitutes, gang members, and pimps I suppose. Not a surprise that the religious leaders were concerned.


    1. Hey! – Good to hear from you! I agree 100% with your assessment in the differences between “tax collectors of the Bible” and our “modern tax person.” These were evil individuals feeding off the already oppressed of society. I was actually being a little tongue-in-cheek with the illustration of the IRS. Hence, the reason I mentioned I wrote it right after a visit to our CPA. I know a dear believer who works for the IRS, he is both Godly and far from the individuals of the Lord’s era. I surely wasn’t intending to offend anyone employed by the IRS who is doing his or her job—if I have offended any I trust they accept this as an apology, let me know and I will remove the blog immediately. Thank you for bringing up the differences!

      I actually had another situation in mind when I wrote it. It’s very easy to write off those who are outcasts of society and ignore any interaction because of what I perceive others may think. I want to cut through my own prejudices and go out to those whom naturally I avoid. The thing that impressed me was the Lord’s unwavering care for outsiders in the face of intense opposition.
      I hope you and Loretta are doing well! Again, thanks for having the courage to bring this up. I really appreciate it!


  2. No offense at all. I was just adding to the conversation. Loretta and I are doing well – empty nesters.

    I think where the principle you mentioned touches me centers around the so-called “culture wars”. When I was began to despise someone I have never met because of a bumper sticker on their car, I knew I had a problem.

    1. Ah – then I am not alone! Thanks for “adding to the conversation!” It helps to gain perspective from what you’ve added.

      An empty nester, huh. I have sometime before I see that happen. I do think that since the 3 adult children have long moved out I have an appreciation for my 8th grader. Maybe it’s because I haven’t quite turned the page on that aspect of my life and will miss it? I don’t know. I’m sure God has blessed you and Loretta tremendously and it’s a nice page to turn!


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