Jesus Partied With A Purpose – Matt 9:1-17

 Reflection from my reading in Matt 9:1-17 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

From Traitor To Gospel Writer

 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.  Matthew 9:9 

Jesus was criticized for the company he kept. Tax collectors were known as traitors because they not only worked for the Roman oppressors, but they also charged extra and kept money for themselves. But Jesus asked one of the tax collectors, named Matthew, to follow him.

Matthew later became a gospel writer! Jesus looked at Matthew and saw him for what he could be instead of what he was. Jesus gave him a second chance and Matthew took it!

Chill’n With Jesus

 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.” Matthew 9:10 

I love the picture of Jesus reclining with the most notorious sinners of the day. Very often when someone comes to Christ, there are good opportunities for them to reach out to their friends. I believe one reason Jesus was able to have access to the tax collectors and sinners was because they were Matthew’s friends! Jesus used natural connections in order to reach his friend’s group.

In order to reach people, we have to be around them. When was the last time you just hung out with non-believers?

It Doesn’t Look Good…

 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Matthew 9:11 

Jesus was criticized by the religious leaders of the day. Jesus was willing to let his reputation suffer for the sake of loving those people and showing them mercy.

A Hospital for Sinners 

 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9:12–13 

Jesus preferred spending time with those who knew they needed him over those who thought they were perfect. Jesus came to heal the spiritually sick. Jesus showed us that mercy is greater than sacrifice. As a church, I believe we must follow Jesus’ example of spending time with people who need God and provide a safe place for sinners to come receive the healing in our services. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes of what the Church should be,

“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” – Abigail Van Buren

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About David Worcester

I am the founder and director of a campus ministry at San Diego State called Challenge. I am also serving as an ordained elder at Mission Trails Church. I love speaking and writing about college ministry, gospel appointments, and practical ways to live out God’s Word! I am also passionate about: leadership training, learning, missions, church planting, surfing, hiking, sports, photography and traveling (So far I’ve visited 23 countries & all 50 states). I’m married to Jessica Worcester who I fell in love with while doing college ministry together and we have a two year old son named Samuel. I graduated from from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a degree in Film & Video Studies. And I received my Masters in Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary. I am an ordained minister who loves speaking and writing about practical ways to live out God’s Word in life and ministry.

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