Peter Oakes (in ‘We Proclaim the Word of Life’, eds Paul & Wenham) suggests that preachers (and scholars) might take note of the ‘urban assumptions’ that are apparent in Luke’s Gospel.
For instance, if a preacher…is handling Luke’s substantial material on tax collectors, the temptation is to view this in purely Galilean and Judean terms, focusing solely on the role of Tax collectors in that region. A common consequence of this is that interpreters give priority to the role of tax collectors as collaborators with an occupying power. this political characteristic is often seen as central to the issues relating to tax collectors in the Gospels. However, for Luke and his readers in the Greco-Roman urban world this would not be the main characteristic of tax collectors. Taxes, and consequently tax collectors, were indeed commonly resented in the provinces of the empire. However, the most frequent complain about tax collectors was of corrupt extortion, enabling them to get rich as the expense of the population. This broader characterisation of tax collectors actually fits Luke’s text much better than a Judea-centred focus on collaboration. Luke’s material on tax collectors is book-ended by John the Baptist’s call for them to renounce extortion (Luke 3:13) and Zacchaeus’ example of doing that and repaying money (Luke 19:8).