Scripture: Matthew 9:9-13
9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:9-13, New King James Version)
Observance: (What does your mind’s eye see when you read this verse?)
First I see Jesus walking through town. Those He has already called are following him and then he comes to a tax collector’s booth. There, one man especially catches his eye. He sees a familiar look in this man’s face and starts to talk with Matthew. He ask’s Matthew if he will follow Him (be His disciple) and I see Matthew, who has been known as a ‘sinner’ for so long making the decision quickly but not without reason. He feels something from Jesus that he has never felt from another man; a sense of forgiveness and mercy and it moves his heart toward a desire to follow Jesus. He invites Jesus to come and have dinner with him and some friends. This shows me that Matthew quickly had a desire to share this experience with others that he knew.
The Pharisees see this and (note that they approach the disciples with their questions, not Jesus) ask why Jesus eats with such horrible sinners. They are not moved by anything but outward appearance. Jesus finds out the question the Pharisees had asked and he gives understanding that may have been the very thing that moved Matthew, the tax collector sinner, to follow Him. He explains whom he has come to save. Not those with glorious outward appearance, but those with a knowledge of their own need. Those who are capable of seeing that they are sick.
I can see Jesus in that meal with the ‘sinners’. Sharing the love of the Father with them, but not in a condescending way or a “preaching” way, but in a way that makes them feel loved and accepted. A way that makes them want to learn more and be more. Jesus’ love causes a heart response not a ‘brain’ response.
Prayer: (Let Him know how you feel.)
Thank You so much for wanting to change my heart. I give it to You today to be changed and used by You. Your ways are so amazing to me…I ask myself if I could ever be able to care about a person’s heart as much as You did and I realize that this would only ever be possible with Your help.
Today I ask for Your power to protect me from temptation. Help me to do well at work. Protect my family and friends.
Thank you for being my friend and my redeemer. Help me to show Your love to others. Amen.
Please take the time to let other’s know what you saw in this scripture by making a comment below.