Bible Study Lesson from Matthew 9:9-13
Christ realized that sinners are the one’s who need God the most so He ate with them. Then, He changed their hearts and forgave them.
Story of Matthew the Tax Collector – Why Did Jesus Eat with Sinners?
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.
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.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Matthew 9:9-13 NASB
How God Changes People – Even Sinners? Who is Matthew?
Yes, now you know the full story. Matthew, whom we all know and love as one of Jesus’ disciples, follower of Christ, writer of the Gospel, was a cheating tax collector.
Who were the Tax Collectors?
People of this profession were notorious at overcharging for taxes and taking the profit for themselves in addition to a percentage of money they collected.
Matthew was hated by many but was still making a handsome living when Jesus asked him to come with him.
Like the other disciples, Matthew did not hesitate when Jesus called. He left the plentiful (and comfortable) life to follow Christ. God moved in his life and changed him from the inside giving him peace and fulfillment instead of worldly wealth.
Christ vs. Possessions
I wish I could be as ambitious about following God’s will as Matthew but I’ve got much work to do before I can make that claim, if ever.
You see, I get tangled in the web of possessions many times too. It’s difficult to put total trust in Christ when we are worried about our situation, or trying to hang on to what we’ve got.
In these uncertain economic times it’s even tougher to let go of the worries and physical goods in order to go where God wants us to go.
The good news is that we can still make the effort daily and work toward the goal.
Are They Worth the Effort?
Jesus realized that the tax collectors, including Matthew, were worth witnessing to and worth saving even though the public (and the Pharisees) had given up.
God changed Matthew from the inside first and he (Matthew) changed from his old ways with God’s help.
Jesus Has No Fear
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”149640212X” locale=”US” src=”https://makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/41H2vfCr40L.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”107″]Christ was not afraid to be seen with people of questionable character at the risk of ruining his reputation. He felt it was worth the risk to bring lost people to God.
The question of fear never entered his mind.
How about us?
Are we willing to talk to people about Christ who are not in our “inner circle” of friends? Let’s make an effort to help more people to know Christ.
Love in Christ
If you would like to know how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to look at John 3:16 for more information.
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