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.”
As those saved from the depths of our sin, as Gentiles grafted into the Vine, we should treasure this section from the life of Jesus and his disciples. Notice how specifically it describes those whom Jesus sat with. “Many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus.” Jesus had just called Matthew from his seat of collecting taxes and the word got out that Jesus was saving tax collectors and other sinners. When that word got out, tax collectors and sinners came running to the Savior! And what does it say Jesus did? It says that Jesus “ate with them.” He sat down and had a meal with sinners in need of hope.
We should rejoice over this chapter of Jesus’ life. We should be jumping up and down for joy. Jesus ate with sinners! If we had been there and we had heard that Jesus was saving sinners, and if we had come, Jesus would have received us too. Aren’t you glad we serve a saving Savior? The Pharisees expected Jesus to act like them, to turn up his nose them like they always did. Jesus was so counter-cultural that he did exactly opposite what those religious leaders would have done. They were torched-angry. What in the world is Jesus doing? What kind of message is he giving? Doesn’t he know who he is eating with?
As these Pharisees seethed, Jesus calmly turned to them and told them that he did not come to call them, those who in their minds did not need a Savior. No, Jesus came to call those sick with sin, those sinners who knew they were lost and in need of the Great Physician. Jesus came to save us, Hallelujah! Jesus came to save sinners, as Paul said, “…of whom I am chief.”
As Jesus calls you to repentance, do you ever look next to you to see who needs that call more than you do? We have all sat in church and wished so-and-so were here to get this message. Every time the Word is opened, the Lord is calling us to it. He came to call the sinners to repent. May we ever identify with the right crowd in this story and may we ever rejoice that Jesus came to save sinners; he came to save me.
Yesterday was my dad’s 87th birthday. We had a nice party for him complete with kids and candles and presents. We thank God for the continued influence my dad is able to have in this life.
What a special joy the missions’ conference was this weekend! As we heard from veteran missionaries, people who have spent 25-55 years serving the Savior, we were so blessed and so challenged to do more for the Kingdom of God. The Kuvshininkovs, the Davis’s, Yashito, and the Massey’s were such a joy to be around. These faithful servants of Christ are still serving. They have a legacy and are still moving forward. It is my prayer that God will call young people and adults from our church to serve alongside of some of these and eventually be able to continue their work. A great big thanks to the missions committee for all of the work that they did to prepare us for a truly special weekend.
Have a great day in the Lord,