9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector's booth.
"Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him.
So Matthew got up and followed him.
10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests,
along with many tax collectors and other disreputable & notorious sinners.
11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples,
"Why does your teacher eat with such scum?"
12 When Jesus heard this, he said,
"Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do."
13 Then he added,
"Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture:
'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.'
For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous,
but those who know they are sinners."
Let's face it...
If we deign to hang out with people who aren't followers of Jesus,
they have to look like us,
be of the same social & economic class,
& should be at least as smart as we are.
It's no wonder the world thinks white middle class evangelicals are middle class white supremacists,
because we are.
Of course, we'd never admit that,
because we know that that kind of blatant admission would reveal a deep, deep flaw in our religious thinking,
& as superior beings we couldn't possibly have that despicable a world outlook.
I wonder when we will drop our arrogance & actually start reaching out to the people around us with the incredible news that Jesus cares about ALL of us, no matter who or what we are.
I wonder if we will ever come to the point where we can admit we're really all rot-gut, despicable, notorious sinners,
saved from a justly deserved separation from God by His mercy & grace,
& start saying to people if God can forgive & forget OUR rot-gut sins, He can certainly do that for theirs.
I sometimes doubt we'll ever do that.
Maybe a few of us can break out of that smugness & self absorption, but it will be only a few.
We all tend to ignore the fact that the people today we consider inferior & lower life forms were the very people not only drawn to Jesus, but that Jesus Himself WANTED to be around & felt CALLED to love & connect with.
He did NOT want to be around the superstars of the church of His day because He saw them for what they were...
arrogant & insufferable supremacists who were too far gone in their arrogance & self centeredness to be reached by even the Son of God.
As for me, give me a “notorious sinner” any day.
Those are the people that were drawn to Jesus.
And they were the very folks Jesus felt called to connect with.
And if He felt that way, I figure so should I.