From my daily reading, February 23rd, 2017
Matthew the Tax Collector
This is the story of Jesus. He is being radical in Hus day by eating with Tax Collectors and sinners. This was considered deplorable and completely unacceptable in His age, especially by the religious leaders (Pharisees and scribes). Tax Collectors were not considered worthy of the Jewish Law because of their livelihood. So, for Jesus to be eating with them was very frowned upon. Read the story from the Gospel of Mark and soak in how Christ radically showed His love.
Mark 2:13- 17 NKJV
13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. 14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Jesus was RADICAL in His day. He ate with socially unacceptable sinners. He did things in a new way. He turned the Law on its head and it made a lot of religious people upset – the very ones who should have RECOGNIZED Christ as their Messiah!
How can we live radically today? Radically with the love of Christ?
Seek the lost, spend time with the socially unaccepted… go beyond the boundaries. Build relationships with people outside of your normal circle. Cross the lines that are comfortable.
Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous- He came to save sinners (that’s all of us, if you haven’t caught in to that). That includes our neighbor who are a little different, or even acquaintances who are polar opposite of us and our background. It includes socially unacceptable statuses.
How do you spell LOVE?
T I M E =
L O V E
Let us live inspired by Your radical living and loving. Help us to see past the socially created boundaries. Let us love without judging. We pray that you shine through us before we ever say a word about the Gospel. Let us live in a way that makes people question why we do what we do (in a good way).
Lead us to those who need you. Let us be a shining light for you.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,