273, Hosea, love, mercy, Pharisees, righteousness, sacrifices, sin, tax collector
Jesus heals a man with leprosy, a paralysed man, calls Levi (Matthew), and explains why his disciples don’t fast: Mark 1:40–45; Matthew 8:1–4; Luke 5:12–16; Mark 2:1–12; Matthew 9:1–8; Luke 5:17–26; Mark 2:13–17; Matthew 9:9–13; Luke 5:27–32; Mark 2:18–22; Matthew 9:14–17; Luke 5:33–39
Matthew, a tax collector and the author of his self-titled book, wrote the story of his own calling. As Matthew told it, he was just sitting in his office one day, when Jesus came past, called him too be a disciple, and so he did.
Tax collectors must have been a reviled group. The Pharisees were offended that Jesus would want someone like Matthew around. One Bible translation has the Pharisees asking why Jesus eats with such scum. Jesus’ response was that these so-called scum not only needed Him more, but also knew they needed Him:
Matthew:9:12-13 Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy [love], not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.
The scripture comes from Hosea 6:6, in which God is calling Israel to repentance for her unfaithfulness to Him.