Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
One of the favorite paintings depicts this call of Matthew by Caravaggio. Tax collectors were despised by society because they often cheated their own people. And yet Jesus still chose Levi, who would become Matthew. In the painting, Matthew is shocked by Jesus’ call. But he left everything behind to follow Jesus.
In appreciation for this great call, Matthew threw a banquet full of notorious sinners and invited Jesus. All the righteous could not believe Jesus was eating and drinking with such sinners. And Jesus proclaimed His mission. He did not come for the healthy, but for the sick, the sinners, the broken, etc.
This should give us great hope. And this is why we go to Church. We are sinners in need of a savior. And that is why God became man. He suffered and died to destroy our death. And He rose to give us new life, inviting us to place our faith in Him. We do not deserve this type of love, but it is a gift freely given to us, sinners though we are.
How do you respond to this type of love?
Have you placed your complete faith in Jesus?
Do you allow Jesus’ grace to fill your areas of brokenness?
Have a blessed day!