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Monday, February 22, 2016

Lent 2016--Day Eleven

Matthew, also called Levi, was called to come follow Jesus and be a disciple, apparently, without prior relationship. Maybe he had observed Jesus and his disciples in the market or the Synagogue. His booth for collection of taxes was certainly convenient to the public, so he could have seen Jesus on several occasions. He could have been acquainted with them through business. He does not seem to have hesitated when Jesus called. Indeed, it appears he called them to eat at his house. Other tax collectors were there and people who the Pharisees took offense at ate with them. 

Jesus took this opportunity to emphasize the nature of his call: He was not interested in looking good for the critics. He agreed these people were in need of reformation, but he did not intend to insult them. He said, "I am come to call the sinners to repentance."  Jesus was associating with those who needed what he provided. Of course, we all need what he provides. 

Did you ever think you would want to be counted with the tax collectors? I didn't, but maybe I was wrong.