Jesus, Friend of Sinners
To those who know they are sinners and have been pushed to the margins of religion and society, those who realize that they are in need of rescue, Jesus invites you into His forgiveness. We have to realize we are lost before we can ever be saved. We must recognize that we are spiritually sick before we can ever be spiritually healed. We have to know that we are dead in our sin before we can be made alive in Christ. If we are willing to answer the call of Christ to follow Him, He will invite us to the table, and forgive us in a way that only He can.
For further consideration: What kind of “sinners” are you reluctant to befriend? What fears keep you from showing the love of Jesus to them? In what ways might you identify with Levi, the outcast tax collector? What do you appreciate about God’s grace? Who do you know that has been written off by the world or even the Christian community who, upon consideration of this story, might actually respond eagerly to an invitation to follow Jesus? Who do you think Jesus would hang out with today? What is commendable about the Pharisees’ teaching and practice? What aspects of their teaching and practice did Jesus condemn? How should this story motivate you more for missions and evangelism