Luke 3:13

ESV And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”
NIV Don't collect any more than you are required to,' he told them.
NASB And he said to them, 'Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.'
CSB He told them, "Don't collect any more than what you have been authorized."
NLT He replied, 'Collect no more taxes than the government requires.'
KJV And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

What does Luke 3:13 mean?

John the Baptist is giving advice to local tax collectors (Luke 3:12) who want to follow his command to "bear fruits in keeping with repentance (Luke 3:8). In Jesus' era, tax collectors were among the most hated people in any community. This was for three primary reasons. First, they willingly associated with unclean, sinful Gentiles. Second, they helped an oppressive empire control their own conquered people. Third, their position was ripe for corruption. Romans allowed them to add to collections to cover their own salary; many tax collectors became rich by squeezing excess funds from their countrymen.

The tax collectors coming to John the Baptist want to be right with God; they are asking how to "bear fruits in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8). John's advice speaks to the temptation often associated with their profession: overcharging. He instructs them to collect only what must be taken, and no more. In a later passage, Zacchaeus the tax collector will demonstrate repentance by restoring fraudulent wealth to those from whom it was taken (Luke 19:8).
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