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).
What images come to mind when you hear the term “middle school?” While some may have great memories, I believe it to be the most difficult timeframe for an adolescent as so many changes are happening in the mind and body. I think it’s the time where we really start to ask the question of who we are and how do we fit in? With these questions, comes fear of rejection. For example, I remember how stressful it was for me at lunchtimes every day wondering who would sit by me. I was really shy and found it difficult to talk to people. I had an unhealthy self-image that kept me from developing relationships. One day, a teacher came to our table and sat next to me. He was considered very cool and very cute. Of course, I was speechless. I don’t remember the conversation, but I do know there was a healing balm administered to my soul. Somehow for those few moments, I felt like I fit in.
Can you imagine what those tax collectors and sinners felt as Jesus came to sit with them? It must have been totally out of their expectations. I wonder if some were speechless. Jesus sent the message clearly for all to see to those with him, you are valuable. I am here because I want to have a relationship with you and help you. This is a message that only those who feel a need can accept.
Prayer: Dear Lord, my need for you grows as our relationship develops. Thank you for your love and care. I pray that I can show others your love and help them be free of fear of rejection. Amen
Faith Tip: Wherever you are, imagine Jesus there with you. He is listening intently to your heart and soul. You matter to him.