FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.9 As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's booth; and He said to him, ``Follow Me!'' And he got up and followed Him. 10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ``Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?'' 12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, ``It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: `I DESIRE COMPASSION AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.''
At that time there were 2 peoples-the religious (synagogued) and the sinners (non-synagogued). ALL RELIGIONS seek to bring man into a right standing with God! You must perform some religious acts-follow religious tenets. Over the centuries they used child sacrifice-human sacrifices-animal sacrifices-to pay. Psychologically-man feels the need to pay for forgiveness-for what he's done wrong.
Christianity-WE DO THE SAME! · Attach to God thru saints · Attach to God thru Mary · Attach to God thru sacraments · Attach to God thru spiritual gifts/experiences · Attach to God thru priests-pastors-rabbis · Attach to God thru church membership
The religious had been selected by the Rabbis to study under them. Those who were not selected by a Rabbi were sent back home take on the trade of their fathers. Matthew was obviously not one of those chosen to follow a Rabbi. Here he was working as a despised tax-collector on the shores of the Sea of Galilee at the seaside village of Capernaum. Jesus knew Matthew and often saw him at his tax-collector stand. Rabbi Jesus approached Matthew and invited him to follow in His steps. This had to blow Matthew's mind! Matthew was clearly on the outside-a sinner-one who had no chance of performing the right things in order to achieve a right standing with God. Yet, Jesus, this new Rabbi in town had chosen him to come alongside Him.
This certainly was in line with the theme of Jesus' approach: "I didn't come to call the 'righteous', but sinners!" All of the religions of the world and human psyche tell you that you must pay for what you do or don't do. God sent Jesus into the world to say, "You are welcome, now come and follow Me!"
JESUS CAME TO WELCOME THE SINNERS IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH THEIR SINS, TO GIVE THEM A RIGHT STANDING W/ GOD!
Jesus loves you this I know, for the Bible tells me so. You can trust His love no matter who you are or what you have ever done! This is the lesson of the call of Matthew! Jesus is saying to all sinners, "YOU ARE WELCOME, NOW COME ALONG AND FOLLOW ME!"