Our scripture this morning is Matthew 9:9-13.
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
Jesus uses Matthew and others who seem to be of questionable character to teach a lesson about mercy. The Pharisees were insulted that Jesus would associate with such people. Jesus tells them “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (v. 13).
God’s mercy extends to all His children. Jesus came to seek those that were excluded from “polite” society, to let them know that they can be saved by leaving their sinful ways and following Him. He taught us that we are not the ones to decide who is worthy of salvation.
Jesus wanted the last, the least and the lost to feel God’s love for them. He also wanted “those who think they are righteous” to understand that sin was the reason God sent Him. We have all sinned in different ways; give your failure to Him, repent and follow.
Loving Lord, we are sorry for our willful disobedience. Help us to leave our sin behind, and become the kingdom workers You call us to be. Amen.