This time of year, one thing is certain, no one wants to meet the tax collector. In Jesus’ day, tax collectors were considered scoundrels taking unfair advantage of those from whom they collected revenue. They were also despised, seen as traitors working for the Romans. It’s no wonder the Pharisees objected when Jesus sat at the table with Levi.
Because of the hardness of their hearts, the Pharisees and scribes could not see that Jesus came to save people from their sin. In order to do this, he must reach out to sinners caught up in Satan’s snare. So often, Jesus met with sinners, prostitutes and tax collectors and shared with them the love and compassion of God. As Jesus met Levi at the table, Levi received mercy and grace.
Jesus’ call to Levi shines light on our need to follow Christ and his command to love God and our neighbor. Just as we are all sinners in need of redemption, we are also called by Christ to share the good news that God’s forgiveness is made possible through Christ the Lord. To do this, we share our faith in Christ with others and invite them to come and see. Jesus has a place for sinners at his table. There is even room for you and me. Thanks be to God.
Prayer: Pour out your mercy and grace, O God, wash away my sins forever. Amen.