Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at a tax collector’s booth. “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 and His disciples. 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.”.
– Matthew 9:9-13
There are numerous reasons why the religious leaders hated Jesus. The first reason is the fact that Jesus crossed their lines. In the above text, Jesus spent time with tax-collectors and sinners. The religious leaders separated themselves from these people. Jesus spent time with women. This was socially unacceptable at this particular time in history. He crossed social, gender, religious and racial lines. Jesus came to show us the heart of the Father. Unfortunately, this is seen in stark contrast to the religious practices of the self-righteous.
The Big Question
What does this passage reveal to us about the heart of God? Do you ever find yourself acting in such a way that others might label you a “Pharisee”? How does the love of Jesus toward societal outcasts impact you? Do you accurately reflect the heart of God in the world today?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence reflecting on what God revealed to you today.