Scripture: Matthew 9:9–13
Why is eating with sinners a problem for the Pharisees?
- Jesus dinner guests are unrepentant sinners, and therefore unclean
- The Pharisees prioritized ritual purity above all else - including mercy
- Mercy, not ritual purity, is the higher priority
- This is his divine vocation, to bring mercy to those who need it
This leaves all who would follow Jesus with two, clear responsibilities:
- To receive God’s mercy
- To extend God’s mercy to others
Take Home Idea: Courageous discipleship requires receiving and extending mercy, because if you actually follow Jesus, you will end up eating with tax collectors and sinners.