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“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Oh, give me, Lord, Your love for souls,
For lost and wandering sheep,
That I may see the multitudes,
And weep as You did weep.
Tax collectors were viewed as mercenaries working for the the hated Roman oppressors. Notoriously corrupt, they fraudulently collected more money than was required, becoming rich at the expense of their own people. Labeled as “sinners”, they were utterly despised by their fellow Jews. Jesus was criticized for being a ‘friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ He even chose a tax collector to be one of the twelve disciples. The extent and impact of the gospel is shown in the transformation of this foe, becoming a follower. (taken from the Daily Bread)