Receiving Tax Collectors

Luke Bible Background

04.15.2019 – New Testament: Luke 15.4–7

To read the Bible in a year, read Luke 15.1–10 on April 15, In the year of our Lord Christ 2019

By Don Ruhl

The Bible reading schedule that I follow is from, “Through the Bible In a Year,” by Good News Publishers ( Keep that in mind for a moment.

Today is April 15th, which is tax day in America (For those of you in other nations who may not understand the significance of this date and the selection for today’s reading). Therefore, I want you all to know that I did not select today’s reading, but the Lord wants us to hear what Luke 15.1–10 says and hearing it on April 15th is as good a day as any.

Tax collectors went to hear Jesus (Luke 15.1). He even ate with them, but His critics did not like it (v. 2). So, He spoke three parables to them to explain why He received tax collectors (vv. 3–32).

In the first parable, Jesus spoke of a shepherd who had one hundred sheep, but one became lost. The shepherd left the ninety-nine and looked for the lost sheep (v. 4). When the shepherd found the lost sheep, he put it on his shoulders, happy that he had found the lost one, and he wanted his friends and neighbors to rejoice with him (vv. 5–6). Then Jesus said:

“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”

– Luke 15.7

Tax collectors (IRS agents for us Americans), are sinners just like the rest of us. They need the shepherd to rescue them! He rejoices when one repents. His friends rejoice when one comes back from being lost. The angels have joy over that person. You mean to tell me that you do not want to receive a tax collector? Do you want to be on the opposite side of Jesus, His friends, and His angels?


  • Do you see every person as a potential convert to Christ?
  • If not, why not?

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