Matthew 9:9–13 (ESV)
Jesus Calls Matthew
Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
10 And as Jesus reclined
at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax
collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire
mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
If I were to build up the leadership of a new church, I’m
not sure I would start at a tax booth. I would want someone who people liked, not hated. But Jesus sees us for who we are and he knows our potential. I must admit that He did a great job of picking out the Apostles. I don’t
think I would have been as successful. Well, I know I wouldn’t. Well, the Pharisees have a problem with Jesus’ choice as well. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “That Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners may not shock
Bible readers today. We think of Him as the friend of sinners. But it was shocking to many first-century Jews that Jesus would practice table fellowship with such people (cf 11:19). Jesus is unlike any other Jewish rabbi. This festive banquet is His opportunity
to call to faith people who are conscious of their unrighteousness. Jesus sits with them, not because they are worthy, but because He is merciful. He wants sinners included in His kingdom.
I pray: Dear Jesus, thank You for inviting me, a sinner, to Your marriage supper. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1597). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.