READ : Mark 2:13–22
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. (v. 17)I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. (v. 17)
There is a story about a woman in the dock district of London who came to a women’s meeting. She had been living with a man and they had a child. She brought the child with her, liked the meeting, and came back again. Then the vicar came to her and said, “I must tell you not to come to this meeting again. The other women say that they will stop coming if you continue to come.” She looked at him with a poignant wistfulness. “Sir,” she said, “I know I’m a sinner, but isn’t there somewhere a sinner may go?”
This was also Matthew’s problem. In the eyes of the scribes and Pharisees he was, with all other sinners, a worthless one! He was scorned and considered unfit for religious life.
With Christ there are no worthless ones! Great sin and scandal are no bar to what one may become in Christ. Consider Paul and Matthew. Paul, the chief of sinners, became the great apostle. Matthew, a worthless one, became the writer of our first Gospel.
Christ, friend of sinners, sees none as hopeless. He comes to the downcast and the despised and offers them life. Do you know a “worthless one”? Speak to him of Christ and his love. Christ wants him as his friend, and he will claim him as his own. (originally published March 5, 1963)
Thank you, Christ, for being a friend to sinners. Help us to see the value of every soul in the sight of God. Amen.