7.6.12 "Jesus Eats with Sinners"

Thanks for coming to the blog today! Join me in a short prayer to start!

“Jesus, Open the eyes of my heart that I might see and hear and take in what you want for me this day! I surrender to and invite your Holy Spirit to lead my mind and heart to receive well from you! I am expectant, open and listening!" Amen

Take a few minutes to contemplate a passage of scripture from this week’s message! Matthew 9 :9  Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, "Come along with me." Matthew stood up and followed him. 10-11Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew's house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus' followers. "What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?" 12-13Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: 'I'm after mercy, not religion.' I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders." (MSG)

Who did Jesus hang with, get to know, do lunch with – the riffraff, the sinners, the nobodies! It’s not because they were holy and perfect but because they were broken, messed up and didn’t have life all figured out! Jesus takes notice – He gives them the “honor of His presence, His attention!” He took time, got to know Matthew and his buddies and didn’t mind being seen with them! That is really good news! Maybe, grace means He doesn’t mind being seen with me. With Jesus, a nobody is a somebody! When someone important takes notice – it matters!

I remember when our Josh was 5 or 6 I was marrying a couple who lived in D.C. and had come into town while on vacation to plan the wedding. In the bride’s high school years I was her pastor and now she was the travel secretary for Laura Bush in the White House! Pretty cool! She brought visitor packets from the White House for me to give our kids which included a signed picture of President and Mrs. Bush. When Josh opened up his packet and realized who was portrayed he exclaimed with full confidence and delight, “I had no idea George Bush knew who I was!” He was thrilled! Josh relished in the status of “being known” by the President who sent him a personalized gift! We never told Josh any different!

Matthew must have been blown away when the reality ever hit him, “God came to earth and is in my living room!” He was known by God! This is one of the great “delights” of being a Christ follower! Don’t miss it today! Dwell on that reality! We can all say with faith - filled confidence, “God knows who I am!”

Finally, I am inspired by what God did through Matthew for all his friends! They got to know God that day because they knew Matthew! Will people get to know God today, because they know me? I hope so! This reminds me and encourages me to keep praying for my neighbors and other families as we were taught during the “Why Pray?” journey! I truly want the people I know and care about to get to know the God that already knows them! Keep praying!

Please post your comments about these verses, this blog, and message reflections or your journey this week! What God places in your heart and mind is helpful for us all.