So if you participated in The Journey Church Minute To Win It Pathfinder Group Challenge (try putting that on a t-shirt) this past Wednesday night, you've already heard part of what I'm gonna share here. But I'm want to share anyways, cause I think it's important.
In Matthew 9:9-13, the author recounts Jesus calling him to become one of His disciples. Basically, Jesus strolls by, says come and follow Me, and Matthew does. No discussion is detailed. We don't read of Matthew consulting a career advisor, or friends, or family, as to whether or not this was a good decision. After all, he was in a position to be making some serious bank. He was a tax collector - he made money by cheating those that he collected from. Yhe sky was the limit as to how much money he could skim, and how comfortable his life could be. Those disciples that were fishermen - they could always go back to a life of fishing is this disciple internship didn't work out. But once he walked away, could he return to his position as a tax collector? Doubtful. Yet he walks and joins up with Jesus.
But check this - the very next verse, he brings his past and current colleagues together. Andrew and Peter, meet Larry, Darryl, and Darryl. Yeah, Andrew and Peter were fishermen, hardworking and honest guys who now follow God. And yes Larry and his brothers are tax collectors - not exactly honest and ethical. Kinda shady. Now what's for dinner? How does this meal go down? How's the conversation?
What a great testimony Matthew. He cared about his past, his friends and colleagues who needed to meet Jesus. To learn about Him, to hear Him speak. That's the right call, correct? No, not according to the Pharisees. As the NLT reads, "Why does your teacher eat with such scum?" Evidently this "scum" didn't need to hear any truth, whether the Pharisees were correct or if Jesus was right. So Jesus says "Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do". He then quotes Hosea 6:6a - "I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices".
Jesus went on in Matthew 11:19 to say, "The son of man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners! But wisdom is shown to be right by its results". My prayer lately is that I will be thought of, and become, a friend to the tax collectors and other sinners. They need what I have, and how am I gonna share with them if I don't have any type of relationship with them? May I earn the right to be called a friend of tax collectors and other sinners.