Bible Reading – Matthew 9
Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house and many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples (Mat 9:10). The Pharisees could not understand his action. I’m sure they were wondering how could the one who says he is the son of God dine with sinners. Is he not knowledgeable enough to know that “evil communication corrupts good manners”?
Jesus overheard the Pharisees questioning his disciples on this issue and remarked: “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick” (Mat 9:10 – GNB). It was clear from his statement that his decision to dine with sinners was purposeful. When you see the son of God dining with unbelievers, there must be a critical mission at the back of his mind. He wants to give them the lifeline they need to get well.
All sons of God are carriers of this lifeline. But not all the sons of God relate with unbelievers with the same motive like the first son of God – Jesus Christ.
Why don’t we emulate Jesus? Every day we find ourselves in the midst of sinners; we know they are sinners, but we rarely tell them about the salvation from Jesus. We sit with them in our offices; we dine with the in the restaurants; we go to school with them; these days, we even go to church with them; but … we do not act like someone who has been given the primary task of reconciling men to God (II Cor. 5:18).
Look at your sphere of contacts. Examine your family. Flip through your phone book. Browse your address list. Are they all born again? You are there for a purpose. Talk to them about the saving grace of Jesus. They may not admit immediately, but you have sown a seed.
I remember a friend preached to me before I got born again. After his message, all the other messages I had earlier heard about Christ dawned on me. I was able to connect them together and conviction was born in my heart. Your listeners may not get born again instantly, but you have sown a seed they will connect to tomorrow. Who knows what they will become after that connection has been made?
If you must be accused of dining with sinners, it should be because you are there for a critical mission – like Jesus was with the tax collectors. They are in need, and you must help.