Blessed… Why Does Your Teacher Eat with…Sinners?”

As Jesus continued on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at a kiosk for collecting taxes. He said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him. As Jesus sat down to eat in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners joined Jesus and his disciples at the table. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  When Jesus heard it, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do.  Go and learn what this means: I want mercy and not sacrificeI didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners” (Matthew 9:9-13, Common English Bible).

I have always heard it said, “There is no such thing as a stupid question.” For the most part I have pretty well accepted that during my life. The Pharisees question to Jesus’ disciples I think proves that old saying wrong. “But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?'” I don’t know about you, but I think this qualifies as a stupid question! (Maybe I should have titled today’s post, “What a Stupid Question”)

Please, let me explain by answering their question with one of my own, (I know, you aren’t supposed to answer a question with a question, please don’t tell the rhetoric police) but I hope mine isn’t as stupid as the one asked by the Pharisees. Who else was Jesus supposed to eat with?

That is how I would answer the ridiculous question of the Pharisees. Think about it. The only person in the room, really on the planet that wasn’t a sinner was Jesus! The Pharisees loved to think they weren’t sinners, but the truth says they were exactly that. They were human beings, not God, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” That would mean when it came to being sinners, they were qualified for the job!

I do find it interesting that the Pharisees asked the disciples why Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners. It almost sounds to me like the Pharisees might have been willing to give the disciples a promotion from being an ordinary sinner. Nah! As soon as they had what they wanted, the Pharisees would have started comparing the disciples to themselves. “Why does Jesus eat with fishermen and sinners?” It would be a comparison the Pharisees would never let the disciples win.

Without question, the Pharisees thought they were better than everyone else. Even if you could find a Pharisee who would admit to being a sinner, they were still better than all the other sinners be they tax-collectors or the less serious sinners, fishermen or anyone else around that couldn’t claim the name Pharisee.

Today we need to be careful too. All too often, just like the Pharisees, we point the finger at those other sinners out there. Perhaps we aren’t real willing to sit and eat a meal with someone like that. Maybe that is when we need to really stop and remember Jesus’ words from the end of our lesson today, “I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners.” Lest we forget, none of us are really righteous, we are all sinners. That is why Jesus came. He came to call you, and me.

How do you see those in the world around you?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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