Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”    Matthew 9:13

Matthew’s scripture tells us of a time Jesus was eating and many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with him. The Pharisees thought that was scandalous and questioned his disciples. Jesus answers them with rebuttal.

Who are you in this scenario? A marvelous thing about scripture is it’s ability to teach us in multiple ways, depending on our need and our willingness to see ourselves clearly. Can you see yourself in this event?

Are you feeling like a pharisee, questioning why Jesus seems to be focusing on anyone but you? Have you ever judged another as less worthy? Perhaps you are too focused on the laws and rituals of the church (like sacrificing animals in their time) with too little attention to mercy toward others. 

Are you one of the disciples, standing their knowing that Jesus calls the disreputable but uncomfortable by his choices and unable to answer outside criticism when it comes? Perhaps your faith is not as mature as you’d like and you need to focus more closely on what he did and choices he made. 

Or are you sitting at the table, having come because something you don’t understand drew you in? Are you willing to acknowledge your own sinfulness, and feel incredibly blessed by just being in his presence?

Today, you will get a chance to live out this story. You will be faced with the choice to judge, to hesitate or to be grateful. You don’t need to have always gotten things correctly in your life. Jesus is calling you now. Who’s life will yours look like today?

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