HOST: Michael Whitworth
As 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. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
One of the characteristics of Jesus’ ministry that made Him such a polarizing figure with the Jews was the time He spent with the “undesirables.” Unlike the religious leaders of the day who simply condemned and avoided them, Jesus spent time with the sinners and tax collectors. He did not do so to condone their behavior or justify their sins, but to let them know that God loved them and call them to repentance, giving them the opportunity for spiritual healing. It is the same message the Word of God continually sends to us today. Whoever you are, whatever your sins might be, there is hope. God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. If you are willing to repent and come to Him, forgiveness and spiritual healing are available through Christ. What a beautiful message of compassion and hope!
What does the mercy and love of God mean to you?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!