Matthew 9:10-11. ” And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?”
The next scene we see is Jesus in the house of Matthew (Mark 2:14-17), eating with other tax collectors and sinners. Jesus has chosen to accompany Matthew to his house, where a meal is prepared and served to what was probably a pretty good number of disreputable people. They probably did not sit on benches or chairs, but reclined around the table, as was customary.He Who had come to seek and to save that which was lost declared Himself, by this action, to be completley comfortable having fellowship with social outcasts.
Now think! This was the One Who owned the universe; the One Who had created all of it and had the power of forgiveness and healing. What a picture of grace this is! I wonder if any of us would be so comfortable to sit down and eat with people who were definitely not on the “A- List” of the social leaders of the day. No red carpet here, no hordes of people waiting to catch a glimpse of celebrity. Just a bunch of social pariahs who knew they were welcome in Matthew’s home and who had heard of his startling departure from his tax collector’s table to follow the Nazarene.
They very likely gathered in a courtyard, open to the gaze of passers-by. And before long, here came the Pharisees, the Hector Inspectors of the realm, to see what was going on at Matthew’s house–to which they had not been invited.
You see, they were already seeking fault in Jesus. They were already on the lookout for anything of which they could accuse Him. It wasn’t right that He was gaining such a following; it wasn’t right that a Man Who presumed to forgive sins would eat with sinners!
So they asked His followers why their Master was eating with the rabble.
Tune in tomorrow to see what Jesus said.