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Jesus Is an Anarchist

James Redford

 

5. Tax Collectors are Sinners!

A further demonstration that Jesus considered the institution of taxation to be unjust is given in the below story:

Matthew 9:9-13: As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office.

And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him.

Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.'

For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (See also Mark 2:14-17; Luke 5:27-32.)

It's important to point out here that Jesus actually made a stronger case against the unrighteousness of tax collectors than the Pharisees originally had in questioning Jesus's disciples about it: the Pharisees actually separated the tax collectors from the sinners when they asked "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

Yet when Jesus heard this He answered the Pharisees by lumping the two groups together under the category of sinners thus: "For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

Yet since this is the story of Matthew the tax collector being called to repentance by Jesus we will do well to ask how it was that Matthew obtained repentance.

The answer: By first giving up tax collecting! And from this beginning Matthew would thus go on to become one of Jesus's twelve disciples.

 

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6. On Paul and Romans 13 and Titus 3:1