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As Jesus reclined in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and reclined with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9:10-11)

Continuing on from yesterday’s story, the tax collector Matthew threw a great banquet for Jesus. To his eternal credit, he invited his friends to meet and eat with Jesus. His friend group was simply described as “tax collectors and sinners.” They were sinners because they broke either the religious law or the super-strict interpretation that the Pharisees placed on the law.  Now it is one thing to know you are a sinner; it is quite another thing to be labelled a sinner by others, especially by those who think they are morally superior than you are and so will have nothing to do with you.  Jesus, however, will forever be remembered as “a friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Matthew 11:19). Sinners like you and me.

Prayer – Jesus, thank you for becoming a friend to sinners like me. 

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