12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” — Matt. 9:12-13 NLT
This statement by Jesus is in answer to the Pharisees who were complaining about Jesus and His disciples eating with sinners. Jesus had just called Matthew to come and follow Him. Matthew had invited Jesus and His disciples to his home to have dinner with him and some other tax collectors and disreputable sinners. The Pharisees had referred to the group as scum (verse 11). Jesus knew that the Pharisees would not accept Him and His teachings because they thought they were righteous already. With whom do we spend our time outside the church building? Do we, as the disciples of Jesus, spend all of our time with other Christians or do we seek the lost and minister to them? Do we have a missionary mentality or is it “We four and no more”? Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost. Because He did that, He was rejected, offended, persecuted and eventually hung on a cross. He commanded us to do the same and gave us the authority to do just that. When we do that, we stand the chance of being rejected, offended and criticized for “eating with scum”? Suffering these things puts us in the same group with Jesus and God is pleased with us. Which is better, to live a lifestyle that pleases God and lay up eternal rewards or to live a lifestyle that pleases men gaining worldly rewards but losing our own souls?
20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. — 1 Peter 2:20-21 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous