“As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.””
Matthew 9:9-13 NKJV
Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans. Although tax collectors were deeply despised by the Jews and considered outcasts, Jesus chose Matthew to be a disciple. Matthew invited Jesus to dinner, and Jesus was unashamed to eat with him and the sinners who attended. Jesus’ mission from God is to save sinners - to meet them where they are and offer new life and new hope in Him.
What efforts are you making to introduce unbelievers to Jesus like Matthew? Where are you struggling with judging, dismissing, and disregarding sinners like the Pharisees? Believers are called to represent Jesus to the lost. We are commanded to be light in a dark world, to stand for truth in a world of lies, and to be healing salt in a decaying culture. No soul is beyond God’s grace.