Read Mark 2:13–17
When the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?" Mark 2:16 NKJV
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Matthew was a tax collector, a Jewish man who worked for the Roman government. The religious leaders saw a traitor but Jesus saw a man who needed a Savior. Jesus could look into a man's heart because He was the Son of God. In fact, Jesus had no problem eating with sinners, because He knew that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…(Romans 3:23)
A few of the religious leaders came to realize who Jesus was, but most did not. This is why the first message He preached was "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:15 NKJV) Repentance required admitting their sin, and receiving God’s Son, the promised Messiah.
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Jesus not only saw Matthew's heart, he saw his potential. He later chose Matthew as one of the twelve apostles. Lord, help me to understand the hearts of my children and envision their potential. Even though that is not completely possible, I can trust You to know their hearts and work all things together for their good.
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Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:31-32 NIV