As Jesus was going down the road, he saw Matthew sitting at his tax-collection booth. Come, be my disciple, Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. That night Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. The Pharisees were indignant. Why does your teacher eat with such scum? they asked his disciples. When he heard this, Jesus replied, Healthy people don’t need a doctorsick people do. Then he added, Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.’ For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough." (Matt. 9:9-13 NLT)
Am I aware that God is in the business of choosing the most unlikely among us?
Or do I already have a fixed idea in my mind as to the types God is calling?
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (Jn. 3:8)
Do I have a God-directed sense of timing as to what He is doing in a persons life? Am I moving in concert with Him?
Or am I blithely unaware or indifferent as to the working of God in the lives of the people in my world
We are God’s fellow workersAs God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. (1 Cor. 3:9a; 2 Cor. 6:1)
Am I able to move with ease among the lost? Even among the most egregious of sinners?
Or do I find myself coolly distant from their often unattractive and tragic lives?
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners." (Matt. 11:19a)
Do I possess genuine compassion for the lost, as evidenced by my willingness to become vulnerable and involved in their lives?
Or do I, like the Pharisees, judiciously keep a safe distance?
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, If you are willing, you can make me clean. Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. I am willing, he said. Be clean! Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. (Mk. 1:40-42)
CONCLUSION: Godgave us the ministry of reconciliationHe has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us (2 Cor. 5:18-20 Selected).