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Eating With Sinners

October 21, 2012


“As 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.  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

A few observations here… First Matthew got up and followed Jesus right away without any questions or debate.  Then immediately Matthew offered hospitality opening his home to Jesus and his disciples so that they could eat there.  Hospitality should be an important aspect of our faith.  When you open your heart to Jesus you should also open your home for fellowship right away.

The Pharisees, instead of rejoicing in this opportunity for Jesus to share with tax collectors and sinners, were bothered and accusatory because Jesus was eating with such people.  Jesus was quick to put the Pharisees in their place and challenge them to go and learn what “mercy, not sacrifice” means.  Then Jesus closed the conversation by telling them that He came to call sinners and not the righteous.  The catch to that phrase is the fact that no one is righteous and we are all sinners.  However, the religious who always view themselves as righteous because of pride and the sacrifices they make in front of other men, always fall way short of even beginning to understand what mercy is.

Mercy is responding with compassion instead of judgment towards those who are in need.  It is treating people with kindness and sharing in their suffering instead looking down at them from a safe position.  The righteous/religious are rarely willing to meet someone at their level of need.  Showing mercy means we have a willingness to get our hands dirty while helping those in need in the midst of their situation.  Being merciful means we meet the needs of those deemed as unworthy by the religious and society in general.  Being merciful means we serve and love sinners, in the midst of their sin, as Jesus would.  

I would rather eat and hang out with so called sinners instead of Pharisees any day.  True ministry is sharing your entire life with those in need.  It is not about sharing a few bible verses with someone.  We are called to walk in love and mercy towards others.  Most “Christians” rarely, if ever, eat with sinners; but Jesus sure did.  When was the last time you ate or hung out with “sinners”?  The mindset of most “church goers” I meet is to avoid the world and sinners at all cost.  The most ministry many “Christians” ever do is inviting someone to come to their “church” service on Sunday or worse just giving someone a bible tract to read.  People we should be laying our lives down for the sake of others.  We should live and work out loud among those who are yet to know Him.  Love, mercy, compassion, hope, and grace are only valid when they are shared with one in need.  These are supposed to be realities of our everyday life and not the exception.  I have probably said too much, but I am going to ponder these things some more.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !




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  1. Kirk, You have touched on one if the evidences that, Church was NOT God’s Idea. Church is first of all an impostor organization sent to keep people from knowing Christ and His spiritual kingdom. Second, for those who do come to faith in Christ it is the vehicle that satan uses to keep true believers from maturing in Christ. Those brought up in this imposter institution will be no treat to principalities and powers, for they are imprinted with all kinds of counterfeit spirits, not the True Holy Spirit.
    I was there. My personal knowledge of God was so tainted, try as I did, I had little confidence in God because of the “church effect” (spiritual forces who blind, mislead, and deceive). All I had learned was fear based, flesh power, and a gospel that has no demonstrable power to really change hearts, minds, and lives, as first seen in the book of Acts.
    What are the churched left with…. a bunker mentality. Really that is just as well, for what they propagate in this world, is nothing Christ endorses. The law of seed bearing in kind is still in effect, you cannot give something you do not have.

  2. "BK" permalink

    Hi, Chris. I couldn’t agree with you more on who I’d rather hang out with between the religious world and ‘sinners’. I will say, though, that once the Lord kind of rebuked me a little, reminding me He did also eat dinner with the Scribes and Pharisees and that ‘religion’ is a ‘sin’ that also needs to be dealt with 😦 I find it a much more vicious one than most and would rather take the message of His love to those outside the walls of Babylon than inside! 🙂 Great post, “BK”

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