Matthew 9:9-12 NIVUK
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
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 those who are ill. 13 But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’
The more I think about this passage, the more challenging I find it. Jesus actively seeks out those considered ‘sinners’ by his culture, eating with those that the religious folk of his day would have run a mile from, and yet, as a minister today, I find it is so easy to spend most of my time with nice Christian folk…
Father, thank you that you reached out to me. Help me to do the same. Teach me to desire mercy.