Matthew’s Big Problem
There was no way out of his chosen life. He was too far gone.
Sacrifice (religion) vs. Mercy
Sacrifice tends to be self-serving. Mercy is scandalously selfless.
Mercy is a beautiful sacrifice — fragrant and pleasing to God. For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Meet Me, a Pharisee
Means “separatist” as in “I won’t leave my box because I don’t want to risk being exposed to one of those people.”
They mistook God’s command to “Be holy” as a command to “Be holy, and hide in a box.” Mercy cannot be practiced from a box. Salt was made to get out of the shaker.
How to Weed Out Your Inner Pharisee
Get out of your box
“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world.”
Befriend someone who is hard to love
“...I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Stay pure — by staying close to Jesus
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Should we Be Separate?
Yes! But not the way you might think.
Our minds and hearts must be worlds apart, focused on the Savior, but our hands and feet must be embedded thick among the lost and hurting.
We’ve Been Handed Strong Medicine
How will they know unless you and I go?
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14)
New King James Version (NKJV)
Matthew the Tax Collector
9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”