Jesus associated with sinners!

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The calling of Matthew, by Caravaggio

The calling of Matthew, by Caravaggio

The Calling of Matthew

As Jesus went on 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.”
– Matthew 9:9-13

The artist who painted the picture above, Caravaggio, would have deeply understood the meaning of the scene. Caravaggio was hot headed and notorious for getting into fights. His sexuality was also in question (note the fact he had very few attractive women in his art, but a lot of girlish looking boys). None of us can draw any conclusions about the artist’s relationship to God, but we can see he was moved by the Lord’s statement,  “‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 
Associating with notoriously wicked people often indicates a person’s wrong intentions. But it can also mean that person is going where God has sent them and sewing the seeds of redemption.

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0 responses to “Jesus associated with sinners!

  1. This is one of the most important ideas taught in the scriptures! TD, thank you for reminding us–great post!

  2. duh we all all sinners

    • ojr, maybe you missed the sarcastic note of putting an exclamation mark on the headline. And yup, we are all sinners. One of my favorite prayers is the ancient Orthodox “Jesus Prayer,” likely from around 300 AD:

      “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
      have mercy on me, a sinner.”

  3. Just beautiful Traildust! 😇

  4. Yet there are millions of prideful souls out there in our secular world who consider themselves “righteous” but reject the concept of sin. Big mistake.

  5. Many people do not feel conviction when they are steeped in sin and this is because they have already justified their sin and twist scripture to make their sin acceptable in their own eyes.

  6. But our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, never condoned their sins. He told them to go and sin no more.

  7. kristen dunbar

    Or sowing seeds of redemption.


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