In Mark 2 we read that Jesus called a man named Matthew (also referred to as Levi) to be one of His disciples. Matthew was a tax collector. If you think the IRS has a bad reputation, in the first century it was even worse. Tax collectors were typically Jewish men who worked for the Roman government, often extorting as much money as possible from the Jewish people, with the backing of the Roman government. Tax collectors were hated by their own people. And Jesus calls one of these to be His disciple. In chapter 2 we read that Jesus went to dinner at Matthew’s house and other tax collectors and “sinners” were there. This upset the religious leaders of the day who would not be seen even talking to, never mind eating with these “sinners”. Jesus says, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
I started thinking this morning about that word, “sinners”. In the context of Mark 2 it sounds like such an awful word….in fact if you repeat it a few times it sounds so ugly, almost sinister….sinners….sinners…sinners. Yet, what the religious leaders failed to realize or admit is that they too were sinners. They too had broken God’s laws, over and over. Even though they weren’t ready to admit it, they needed what Jesus had to offer those sinners because they were sinners too. And so are you and me. We are all sinners. We need to hear Jesus’ call to repentance and faith. And when we do, we can receive forgiveness. Maybe you have someone in your life that you think the word “sinner” fits pretty well. Jesus died for that person and perhaps, if you know Jesus as Savior, you could invite that “sinner” to know Him also?