Jesus invites everyone to come to Him to be saved and forgiven. This is illustrated in His birth when both kingly wise men and lowly shepherds were invited to worship Him. And, when His first group of followers assembled, it contained rich and influential men and women, as well as poor fishermen.
His followers included both religious leaders and seedy scoundrels. He called those of all political persuasions as well, including radicals who advocated the violent overthrow of Rome, and even those were in cahoots with the Roman government.
One such figure is in our scripture reading for today below. Levi, also called Matthew, was a hated tax collector for Rome whose life was changed when Jesus called him. So, as you read, listen for and respond to Jesus’ call. No matter where you are in life, Jesus welcomes you into his band of followers!
(Mark 2:13-17) 13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”