“Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Jesus gets in our faces. He has to, or we might not ever let Him into our hearts.
Here, Matthew is seen and called by Jesus and Matthew, in faith, sees that Jesus has something that He cannot resist, something he desperately needs…and Matthew, in faith, follows Jesus.
And Matthew welcomes Jesus into his home to feed him, to listen to him…and Matthew’s guests are those who need the life-changing mercy that only Jesus can give.
But the self-righteous voices are raised. The condemning criticism is spewed. And the mercy of God Most High is challenged.
The sad, and damning truth, is that these healthy ones do not see how desperate they themselves are for the mercy of God. Nor do they consider others worthy of God’s blessings of mercy and goodness.
And Jesus gets in their faces. They have forgotten their need for God. They have forgotten the needy.
May Jesus get in our faces and into our hearts so that we will see and follow the One who alone offers us the mercy we need so desperately. May Jesus get in our faces and into our hearts so that we will see others with (what I call) Mercy Eyes…so that we, in following Jesus, will offer real, tangible, relational and spiritual mercy to all with whom we interact.
Come, follow Jesus…on a path of marked with mercy…and love…and freedom…and power!
In love, peace and purposeful passion, Sylane