As Jesus went up from there
He saw a man named Matthew
Sitting at the tax collector’s booth.
“Follow me,” he told him
And Matthew got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner
At Matthew’s house
Many tax collectors and “sinners”
Came and ate with him and his disciples.
When the Pharisees saw this
They asked his disciples
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
On hearing this, Jesus said
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.
But go and learn what this means
‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’
For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The year is 2012. Many who will read this will hardly believe they have reached a year so far from their own familiar history. Yet some things remain constant no matter which period of history we live in. We will always have the poor among us (John 12:8), as well as tax collectors and ‘sinners’. So until the Lord returns to gather His own, His message stands throughout all of history:
- He ‘desire(s) mercy, not sacrifice’;
- He calls ‘sinners’ not ‘the righteous’ – “therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19);
- If there are any ‘poor among you’ “do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them” (Deut 15:7).
Whether the world ends this year or not is irrelevant, we have been told what is required of us, so keep your eye on the sky by all means, ‘waiting eagerly for His return’ (Heb 9:28), but stay rooted and grounded in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, faithfully obeying all that He commanded us to do on His behalf until He returns.
The Lord is coming!