I’ve spent some time recently with Matthew 9:9-13. It reads:
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Do we sometimes, as modern believers, place the idea of repetitive action in front of the mercy God requires of us? Do we go through the motions — do we act sufficiently ‘churchy’ — without acting in the love Christ expects?
Challenging, isn’t it? I find in myself the same guilt laid upon the Pharisees, but all I can do is appeal to grace for a change in heart. Allow me, Lord, to show mercy upon my enemies — because most certainly, I am a sinner in need of your mercy.