One of the things I love most about Jesus is His love for all people, all the time. Jesus even sought out the outcasts, those on the fringe of society – the people the religious elite often didn’t want to be around. Matthew was one of those “fringe people,” who would later became one of Jesus’ disciples and biographers.
Matthew was definitley one of the last guys you’d want on your team if your goal was impressing the good, religious folks. Why? Because Matthew was a crook. He ran with a bad crowd. He was a party animal. But after Jesus reached out to him and asked him to join His team, Matthew was so excited that he threw a party for all his wild and notorious friends – just so they could meet Jesus. And they all had a great time.
But the religious crowd was not impressed. If Jesus was supposed to be a man of God, then why would He run with such a rough crowd, they wondered. It just didn’t make sense.
Jesus, explained it this way: “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor. I came for those who know they’re sinners and need help – not for those who think they’re righteous” (Matt. 9:12).
Such a powerful statement! Jesus didn’t come to rub elbows with just the “religious.” He came for everyone. And that’s great news! You might be one of those individuals that feels excluded from the church. Maybe you feel like you’ll be rejected or judged based on your past. Thankfully, just like Matthew, Jesus accepts you and died for you – sins, baggage, and all.