Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth.“Follow me,”Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 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.””
As we walk with the disciples throughout the Scriptures, as we see their devotion to Jesus and their desire to understand Jesus’ teachings and way of life… we may forget that Jesus surrounded himself with a rather diverse group of people. Here we see Jesus calling Levi, a tax collector, not a highly regarded profession in Jesus’ day. Jesus is quick to point out that he has come for all, not only those who seemed to have it all together. God calls those who are broken, sinful and despised by society. One of the amazing things about the church is… we are all welcome. God calls us in the midst of our brokenness. God calls us even though we may choose our own way over God’s way. God calls us! Today, take some time to thank God for calling YOU, for welcoming you in and for offering you forgiveness and renewal.