March 5, 2012

Matthew 9:10-13

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (NIV)

 It was a big deal that a Jewish rabbi would sit down to a meal with tax collectors and sinners. Tax collectors were basically seen as traitors and sinners were, well, sinners, so for Jesus to enjoy fellowship with people like this around the dinner table was considered scandalous. Why? Because the religious guys thought he wasn't being religious enough by hanging out with these irreligious guys. Jesus' response, "That's the whole point of the Church" (my paraphrase).

How are you looking to engage the "sick" around you? Are you? Don't forget that you and I are the "tax collectors" and "sinners" as well. These are our people because it is all people. Jesus gave us quite an example, so go and invite someone to dinner.

What do you find meaningful, confusing, or challenging in this passage?