Prayer: Great God, call us yet again to be a sharer of Your Good News with those we meet in our lives today. Amen.
Read St Matthew 9: 9 – 13
The Calling of Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector. As a Jew, this was a vocation that was frowned upon by the community. Matthew would be collecting taxes from his family and neighbours and friends.
Yet Jesus said, “Follow me” and Matthew got up and followed Jesus. Matthew invited Jesus to his house for a meal (hurrah Matthew remembering his hospitality!!). Also at Matthew’s table were other tax collectors and sinners.
The Pharisees saw the people going to Matthew’s house for a meal. They were upset when they saw Jesus and the disciples also going to the sinner’s house. They asked the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with sinners?”
Jesus replied that it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. In this case, Jesus is saying that the sinners and tax collectors are burdened down with sin. Then Jesus says to the Pharisees to go and learn what this phrase means -- “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”. Jesus has not come to call the righteous but the sinner.
Jesus is quoting Hosea 6: 6 where Hosea is once again trying to get the people to repent and return to God.
Go and learn. Our reading of the Bible and going to worship and attending Bible Study is not a once in a while thing but a lifetime of learning. Jesus tells the Pharisees (and us today) to Go and learn about the way of life that leads to the God of love. There are bible studies in our Churches (and if there isn’t, then ask why not!). Sometimes we can’t get out to congregational bible studies but there is always learning about the scriptures available on the TV or through monthly mailings or on the internet.
The other day I was cleaning up the study (yes yes that does happen occasionally J) and I came across my Grandmother’s Bible. The Bible is falling apart and the pages are torn and stained and underlined with comments written in the margins. There are numerous newspaper clippings and old church bulletins stuck in every corner of the Bible. Just by looking at this Bible, I know that my Grandmother read her Bible. She knew the word of God. She read the Word of God. Today, look at your Bible. Is it still crispy with pages not read? Or is your Bible filled with scripture verses underlined or the pages looking crinkled from fingers turning the page? What will future generations say about your Bible? Is it well read or not?
How will you Go and Learn today?
Prayer: Great God, may we go and learn more about Your love and wisdom this day. As we study Your word, may it come alive in our hearts and minds so that we delight in sharing Your Word with everyone. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.