9耶穌從那裏往前走、看見一個人名叫馬太、坐在稅關上、就對他說、你跟從我來．他就起來、跟從了耶穌。 10耶穌在屋裏坐席的時候、有好些稅吏和罪人來、與耶穌和他的門徒一同坐席。 11法利賽人看見、就對耶穌的門徒說、你們的先生為甚麼和稅吏並罪人一同吃飯呢。12耶穌聽見、就說、康健的人用不著醫生、有病的人才用得著。 13經上說、「我喜愛憐恤、不喜愛祭祀。」這句話的意思、你們且去揣摩．我來、本不是召義人、乃是召罪人。
If possible, read the whole chapter to see the full picture of what is happening here. Then focus on the following section:
9As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
1. The calling of Matthew exhibited Jesus’ calling of outcasts and despised sinners. The Pharisees, with their concern for both ritual and moral purity, could not understand why Jesus would have meals with the bad people. Whom can I identify more easily, Matthew or the Pharisees? Why?
2. Do I see Jesus’ calling of me, inviting me to follow Him? What’s my response? Do I enjoy eating, drinking, celebrating, resting, having fun with Jesus?
3. Why did Jesus quote “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”(Ho 6:6)? Could it be because love and mercy reveal that we have a transformed heart, while sacrifice is an outward act that can be done regardless of the condition of our heart?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little while longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.