Why would Matthew just up and leave to follow Jesus?
As we have seen previously that Jesus’ ministry was getting a lot of attention. Matthew would have most likely had been in the crowds that were following to Jesus and if not he defiantly would have heard about the teachings of Jesus and about the miracles that He has been performing to authenticate his teaching. The was by no means a rash decision, but a decision that showed that Matthew had believed in Jesus’ teachings and was willing to walk away from everything to follow Him, because he was worth it.
Why would it bother the Pharisees so much that Jesus was hanging out with Tax Collectors?
They viewed Tax collectors as sinners, not just because of their reputation for being thieves, but also because of their association with the Roman Empire.
Why would this be especially bothersome to the Pharisees?
This was especially bothersome to the Pharisees because they were to law makers and interrupters of the law. They hated that the Roman Empire ruled over them and wanted to be a free from their rule so that they had all of the power.
What does Jesus mean in verse 12? “But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”
Jesus is pointing out that of course He would be found hanging out with the tax collectors and sinners. He came to forgive sins and to heal the broken relationship between God and man. Just like if you do not know you are sick you will never go to the doctor. The Pharisees thought they were ok with God, therefore, it was those that knew the debts of their need to be forgiven were the ones that sought out Jesus.
What does Jesus mean in verse 13? “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Sacrifice= Religious Rituals
Mercy= Steadfast love= Loving Sinners
Pharisees thought they were ok with God because they kept the commandments and made sacrifices. However, Jesus is telling them that God desires mercy more than He desires religious rituals. Jesus came to call everyone to repent and believe for the Kingdom of God was near. However, the Pharisees believed they had nothing to repent of, which hindered their acceptance of Jesus. Jesus came for sinners, those that needed the burden of sin to be lifted off of them, not those that were trying to oppress people, with more and more laws to keep from breaking laws. Basically, Jesus came to set people free from the bondage of sin, while the Pharisees were to busy trying to make sure everyone else stayed in bondage of their religious rituals.
Based on this passage and previous passages
Who does Jesus call to be his disciples?
Fisherman and tax collectors. People that if you were trying to change the world, you never would have picked. However, because chose people that no one else would have ever picked. God got the most glory, when He did change the world, because it would not have been possible any other way without the work of God.
Who does Jesus call to repent and believe?
Everyone, Jesus calls the Pharisee Nicodemus, the highest of highest, the most educated, and respected, and he calls the Samaritan woman, the lowest of lows, the most despised person. Jesus calls demon possessed, handicapped, and terminally sick. He calls everyone no matter what their race, background, social, or economic status.
So based on the answers to these questions
Who should we witness too?
Everyone, since Jesus calls everyone, we should witness to everyone.
What kind of friends should we have?
We should strive to be like Jesus in this area. Jesus had his 12 that were like minded and that encouraged each other to grow stronger, and supported each other when one was weak. However, we also saw that Jesus had friends from all walks of life. That is also how we should be. We should not have friends that only look like us, talk like us, and do the same things as us. That is exactly what the world does. It is safe for you to be friends with people like you because you know what to expect. However, Christ loved everyone and we should be also looking for ways to love everyone, even those that the world deems as unlovable.