Jesus speaks to Matthew and says, “Follow Me”. Tax collectors were not well spoken of in Jesus' days on earth. The Pharisees saw Jesus taking up time with the sinners. They confronted Jesus' disciples asking, "why does your teacher sit and eat with the sinners?" Pharisees saw themselves as holier than thou and wouldn’t be caught sitting with such people. They felt Jesus should put Himself at a greater distance from the sinners. Jesus said,” It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
Acceptance of a person is key for the door opening to share the Gospel. Jesus doesn’t care about what the person does or looks like. He cares about the heart. As His children, we cannot stereotype the heart of an individual by what we see or what we are told. We must reach out to the lost as Jesus did and still does to this very day. Sharing His love and mercy. When others may question our intentions let us not grow quick to anger but rather show the love of Jesus to them as well.
Jesus knew that if Matthew followed Him, the tax collectors and sinners that knew Matthew would become curious and could follow Him too. It only takes the choice of one to accept Jesus to grow interest in many others. Who has God positioned around you to play the "Matthew" in their life? Who has God placed around you that He is calling you to introduce to Jesus?
Jesus said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”. Sin is the sickness of the soul. Spiritually sick. Jesus is the Great Physician of souls. Jesus came for the sinner, not for the righteous. Jesus was sent because of God’s love and mercy toward mankind. The conversion of someone to recognizing their sinful nature and the need for Jesus to be their Savior is the greatest act of mercy imaginable.
Jesus, guard our hearts and never let us get to a place in our relationship with You that we feel we are better than anyone else. Remind us of those words, “follow Me”. Help us to grow in Your mercy and love so that we are able to share it with others. Help us not to look at the appearance of people, but the heart. Jesus, thank you for forgiving our sins and protecting our hearts. We pray for the lost and for the courage to share Your mercy and salvation. Amen!