April 25, 2024

Scarlett Kiowski
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.”
Matthew 9:10-13
Earlier this month I did a teaching on Matthew 7:3-5 about judging others. In verse 3 Jesus says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” So of course I brought a giant plank of wood and a small grain of rice to help the kids visualize what it meant to first examine their own hearts before casting judgment onto another. I never know who gets more out of these teachings, me or the kids. God, of course, used this illustration to show me some areas in my life that I was being judgmental. I was acting very similarly to the Pharisees. I was spending so much time peeking through my blinds, sipping my coffee, concerning myself with what everyone else was not doing, that I lost track of what I needed to do. In this realization God reminded me of Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Yikes, my judgment felt so harmless until the Holy Spirit reminded me of the pain it could cause and that I would be judged in the same way.

I understand that the main point of this passage isn’t about judgment but tending to the sick, the not yet believers. But I couldn’t bypass the Pharisees’ behavior because it was their personal sin of judgment, pride, and a religious spirit that got in the way of them doing the Lord’s work.

God, remove any walls or barriers that keep us from attending to the lost. Keep our hearts pure as we walk in obedience and fulfill the great commission.