While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

– Matthew 9:10-12 (NIV)

Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

Tax collectors were seen as traitors to the Jewish people, because they were the eyes and ears of the Roman Empire. Yet Jesus was not ashamed to be seen with them and others who were regarded as sinners. On top of that, Jesus didn’t justify His behavior; instead He used it to define His mission. To God mercy is linked to the sinner, the outcast or the one that others despise. Those are the ones that God wants to reach and He calls us to join Him in that lifestyle.

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