Zacchaeus the Tax Collector 税吏撒该

路加福音 19: 1~10

今天的故事是关于一个很多人不喜欢的人。他们称他为“罪人”,其实这样的称呼是有趣的,因为我们岂不都是罪人吗?我们岂不都犯错误,做了许多我们不应该做的事吗?

故事从耶稣进入一个名叫耶利哥的城镇开始。耶稣已经用比喻讲了多次道,并行了很多神迹奇事。

关于耶稣和祂所行的神迹奇事的和祂的教导尽都传扬开了。所以,当耶稣来到一个地方的时候,通常人们都会急着去看祂。

想象一下,如果一个有名的人走进你的小镇,或者走在你的街上。人们就会相互转告,很快就会有一大群人聚集在这位名人周围。对耶稣的出现,人们也是这样围观祂。无论祂在哪里出现,都吸引了大量的人群。

在耶稣进入的城里,有一个人名叫撒该。他是这个地方的税吏长,是个财主。

没有一个人喜欢缴税。但是,每一个人都必须向政府缴税,也要向管理你所居住的城市和国家缴纳税款。在某些国家,税收有助于支付到医生看病的费用、或支付修理道路、支付公园维护费用、或帮助无法工作的人员。

税收,在很大程度上帮助我们更好地生活,所以实际上税收应该是一件好事。问题在于有时所获得税款并不总是花费在应该花费的地方,甚至有人将税款中饱私囊,从中贪污。这样的事情在两千多年前,在圣经时代就有发生。

所以,耶利哥的人不太喜欢撒该,尤其是因为他有很多钱和一个豪宅。人们认为他贪污了税款。

撒该听到街上一阵骚动,很快地意识到耶稣在耶利哥,所以他像其他人一样冲上去看祂。当他到人群中,看不到任何东西。他认为耶稣在某处的人群中间,但即使站在他的脚尖上,他仍然看不到耶稣。

撒该的个子非常矮小,如果要求众人将他抱起来看耶稣,这是完全不可能的!

从他的眼角里,撒该看到了一棵梧桐树,决定爬上它,以便他能看见耶稣。

想一想,作为一个成年男子爬树,是不是一件很奇怪的事?尤其因为他作为政府的税吏长,这样有地位的人还爬树。显然,无论他想到什么,他都觉得不在乎,他决定这样做,一定要爬到这树上看耶稣。

当耶稣到达撒该所在的那棵树下的时候,祂抬起头对他说:“撒该,快下来,今天我必要住在你家里。”所以他急忙下来,欢欢喜喜地欢迎祂。

这太酷了!首先,耶稣没有问他叫什么名字,就知道他叫撒该的。其次,耶稣并不在意别人是不是喜欢撒该,祂就是愿意到他家去看他。第三,耶稣说他今天必定住在撒该的家里。这就意味着耶稣知道上帝要祂到撒该的家里去,耶稣服从了上帝的旨意。

耶稣是在众人面前提出要去撒该的家。人们一听见耶稣的话,他们就开始在他们中间私下议论开了。他们摇着头,说:“祂竟到罪人家里去住宿。”

当撒该听到耶稣要住在他的家里,他就站着,对主说,“主阿,我把所有的一半给穷人。我若讹诈了谁,就还他四倍。”

在这里,我们要指出一个重要事情,就是撒该的心改变了。我们不知道他是否已经在考虑应该赔偿被他讹诈了的人们,或者他只是知道当他看到和跟耶稣说话的时候应该这么做。

他还表示,他会以四倍赔偿那些被他讹诈了的人。 其实撒该并没有必要以四倍来赔偿,但他要把事情做得更好。

当耶稣听见撒该这样说的时候,祂说:“今天救恩到了这家,因为他也是亚伯拉罕的子孙。人子来,为要寻找拯救失丧的人。”

耶稣的这一句话,意味着祂已经饶恕了撒该的罪恶,即使人们没有认为撒该是好的,但是上帝爱他,知道他愿意改变他的心。

耶稣说祂来寻求失丧的人。这就是为什么上帝差遣祂的儿子耶稣来到地上的原因。寻找那些失丧的人们,并向他们宣告,凡接受上帝恩典的人,都能够承受永生,并与与祂同在天堂里。

梧桐树



讨论问题:

  1. 请描述撒该的外表和性格。

  2. 在现今的社会上,是不是有一些人我们不喜欢他们,就是因为他们的工作、肤色、身材、宗教信仰?

  3. 从今天的课程中,你对耶稣有什么了解?

  4. 耶稣是来寻求失丧的人,这话怎么解释?

  5. 谁是“失丧的人”?

  6. 你觉得这个故事有什么新的或有趣的地方?

Luke 19:1 - 10


Today's story is about a man many people didn't like.  They called him a "sinner", which is funny because aren't we all sinners?  Don't we all make mistakes and do things we shouldn't?

The story starts with Jesus entering a town called Jericho.  These days Jesus had been going around telling parables and performing many miracles.

The word was spreading about ... Jesus and the amazing things He was doing and saying.  So, it was common, when Jesus came to a place people would rush to see Him.

Just imagine if a famous person came walking into your town or down your street.  People would be telling their friends and very quickly there would be a large crowd gathered around them.  This is how it was for Jesus.  He couldn't go anywhere without attracting a huge crowd of people.

In this town that Jesus was entering lived a man named Zacchaeus.  He was the chief tax collector in this place and had lots of money.

The word "taxes" is probably not a word people like very much.  Everyone that works pays taxes to the government or the people that run the city and country you live in.  In some countries taxes help pay for doctor visits or to make or fix roads, pay for parks, or help those who can't work.

Taxes, for the most part, help us live better so they really are a good thing. The problem is that sometimes (and that include Biblical times, over two thousand years ago) people who got the tax money didn't always spend it properly or they took some of the money for themselves (which is stealing).

So, the people from Jericho didn't like Zacchaeus very much, especially because he had lots of money and a big house.  They figured he had taken some of the tax money for himself.  

Zacchaeus had heard a commotion and soon realized that Jesus was in Jericho, so he rushed like everyone else to see Him.  When he got to the crowd he couldn't see anything.  He figured Jesus was in the middle of it somewhere, but standing on his tiptoes he still couldn't even see Jesus.

Zacchaeus was extremely short and couldn't ask someone to pick him up to see better, that would've been ridiculous!

Zacchaeus saw a sycamore tree out of the corner of his eye and decided to climb it so he could see Jesus.

We wonder if Zacchaeus thought it might be strange for a grown man to climb a tree?  Especially since he was an important person in government.  Whatever he thought, he did it anyway and didn't seem to care.

When Jesus reached the spot Zacchaeus was, He looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today."  So he came down right away and welcomed him gladly.

This is so cool!  First, Jesus knew Zacchaeus' name without asking him first.  Second, Jesus didn't care that other people didn't like Zacchaeus, He wanted to visit with him at his house anyway.  Third, Jesus said that He MUST stay at his house today.  This means that Jesus knew that God wanted Him to go there and Jesus obeyed.

Jesus asked to go to Zacchaeus' house in front of everyone and as soon as they heard this they all started murmuring among themselves.  They were shaking their heads and saying "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner'."

After the attention that Zacchaeus got from Jesus, he said, "Look, Lord!  Here and now I give half of my money to the poor, and if I have cheated or stole anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

The important part about this is that Zacchaeus had a change of heart.  We don't know if he was already thinking about repaying people back or he just knew what he should do when he saw and talked to Jesus.

He also said that he would pay back people four times the amount.  Zacchaeus didn't have to do this, but he wanted to make things more than right.

When Jesus heard this He said, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

Jesus meant that He had forgiven Zacchaeus' sins and that even though people didn't think Zacchaeus was good, God loved him too and knew that his heart was willing to change.

Jesus said that He came to seek and to save the lost.  This was the whole point as to why God sent His son Jesus to come to earth.  To find those who didn't know God and were lost and to show them who God is so they could live forever in Heaven with Him.

Source:   http://www.dltk-bible.com/cv/zacchaeus.htm   ~ by Sharla Guenther



Discussion Questions:

  1. Describe Zacchaeus' appearance and character.

  2. Are there groups of people in our society today that we don't like because of their job, skin color, physical appearance, or religion?

  3. What did you learn about Jesus?

  4. What does Jesus mean when he said that "He came to seek and to save the lost."?

  5. Who are "the lost"?

  6. What is new or interesting to you about this story?
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