* Jesus calls Matthew, the tax collector, to follow him.
* Jesus is eating and drinking at Matthew's house with many tax collectors and sinners.
-"for there were many of them, and they were following him" (v. 15)
"Why is he eating and drinking with tax collectors
and sinners?" And hearing this, Jesus said to them,
"It is not those who are healthy who need a physician,
but those who are sick; I did not come to call the
righteous, but sinners."
* The challenge to Jesus is that he is doing something wrong by eating with tax collectors and sinners. His reputation is being sullied and he is being made unclean. But Jesus' answer presupposes something about his identity--that he is a physician. His actions are for the sake of healing. Jesus' presence is healing.
* The Scribes and Pharisees want repentance from people but their vision is to stand afar off. Jesus also wants repentance but he draws near to pursue it.
* "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
-Call to what? Jesus called Matthew to follow him!* I am a sinner. I need Jesus. Jesus communes with his people in the Lord's Supper. I sometimes think, when taking the Lord's Supper, that Jesus is saying, "I still choose to eat with you. I would choose you again to be in my presence."
* The Scribes do not understand what Jesus is doing or why he is doing it. They don't understand who he is!
* Think of all the people in the narrative: Scribes, disciples, tax collectors & sinners, and Jesus. In what ways am I like each person/group?
-Am I standing aloof in judgment like the Scribes?
-Am I entering into Jesus' missional mindset?
-Am I eating and drinking with Jesus as a sinner accepted in his presence?
-Am I like the disciples, caught up in all this while seeing and learning from Jesus?