Jesus Calls Even Self-righteous Sinners to Discipleship—from Matthew 9:9-13
If Jesus called you to serve Him alongside a redeemed terrorist, traitor, or serial adulterer, how would that hit you? What kind of sinners do you recoil from reaching out to? Does Jesus’ love for lowlifes bother you or give you hope? In Matthew 9, Jesus gives some proud “church folks” a research project. What an honor! Or was it? Seeing a huge gap in their understanding, and arrogant hole in their hearts, He assigned them to re-study Scripture. These Bible scholars had missed or conveniently ignored a big truth; one we might have overlooked too.
Hosea rebuked God’s people for being more attuned to religious ceremony than they were their sins and the needs of others (6:1-8). They were experts at worship, but utter failures in treating others with mercy, much less seeing their own need for it. Their priorities were out of whack. Are ours? When Jesus called and cultivated redemptive friendships with “sinners,” the “godly folks” were scandalized! Yet, this was good news. They too needed His mercy, like we do.