At the time Jesus lived on earth, the Jews thought that tax collectors were the very worst sinners. Verse 9 of our Bible Reading today tells us that Jesus asked a tax collector, Matthew, to be one of His special followers. “Matthew stood up and followed Jesus.”
Then Jesus went to Matthew’s house to eat dinner. “Many tax collectors and other bad people came and ate with Jesus and his followers” (verse 10b). When the Pharisees (Jewish religious leaders) saw this, they criticized Jesus. Why? Because He was eating with sinners.
Jesus answered this criticism by saying, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor. It is the sick people that need a doctor” (verse 12b). Jesus explained what His words meant in verse 13b. He said, “I did not come to invite good people. I came to invite sinners.”
Jesus came to earth to give new life to sinners. That means you and me! Jesus came to invite us to follow Him. The only way to have our sins forgiven is through Jesus. Praise God for sending Jesus to earth!