Lessons From the Top of the Tree, or: Why God's Grace Is So Offensive

A couple of weeks ago in my youngest daughter's Sunday school, we talked about the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. He was the short man who climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus. But that's not all. He was the head tax collector and as we know, tax collectors were not generally liked people in the Bible since they got rich by cheating people out of their hard-earned money. The Bible is very clear that tax collectors very much ostracized in the community and were thought to be “the worst,” at least on the same level with other terrible sinners, like prostitutes. Certainly not the kind of people anyone would associate with. Yet, Zacchaeus hears about this Jesus person and something inside h

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