Good Enough

Good Enough

21 April 2011

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 26-27; Psalm 63, Matthew 9


9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” 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 be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are already good enough, but those who know they are sinners.” (Matthew 9:9-13 NLT)

Jesus saw a Jew, Matthew, who had sold out to the Romans and had become a tax-collector. This made him such an outcast that the only friends he was likely to have were traitor-tax collectors and other disreputable sinners! It also very likely made him wealthy, because the Romans didn’t care how much “tax” he collected or what strong-arm methods he used to collect as long as they got Caesar’s share.

When Jesus said, “Follow me and be my disciple,” Matthew jumped at the chance. His heart leaped to know that a good man like Jesus cared enough to want him around, and he called as many of his disreputable friends as he could gather to a party at his house where Jesus was guest of honor! The Really Righteous People – the Pharisees, were scandalized that Jesus, who said he was representing God himself, would socialize with such “scum!” We know it really happened, because Matthew himself went on to write this Gospel – he wrote the very words we’re reading here!

Jesus is still calling people who know they are sinners to be his disciples. He called me! It’s a call to follow, to learn, to grow, to change, to be transformed from what I am to what I can be in Christ. I will never be in greater danger on this journey of faith than I will be in if I start thinking I’m “Already Good Enough!”

Welcome to the Inside-Out, Upside-Down world of Jesus and God’s Kingdom!


Father, Thank you for caring for and calling those of us who know we are sinners! Please help me never to start thinking I’m “Good Enough.” Keep changing me! Amen.

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