In today’s (chronological) Bible reading… Matthew 8:1-4; 9:1-17; 12:1-21; Mark 1:40–3:21; Luke 5:12–6:19… we see Jesus choosing 12 apostles, His early ministry in Galilee.  Already a major power struggle was brewing because of the people Jesus chose to associate with…

Look around you… and you’ll see all kinds of people.  Some people you just naturally like… and others you’d rather not be around.  But, what is it in some people that appeals to you?  What do you tend to like?  Better yet, what is it you tend to avoid?

In Jesus’ day, the tax collectors were the people most people avoided (and that may still be true today!).  In the opinion of most people, tax collectors had betrayed their own people and represented the interests of Rome… and their own interests.  Many tax collectors made themselves rich by skimming their sizable percentage from the taxes they were paid.

So, why would Jesus choose to hang out with people like that?

1.  He felt comfortable reaching across the social barriers that tend to separate us because He didn’t need the security of a clique.

2.  He could go to the most broken of people and make them feel special because Jesus’ presence was life-changing.

3.  He came to open all the doors that had been closed.

Everybody needs Jesus.  I do.  You do.  We all do.

That includes the outcasts… the people others might tend to overlook.  And that may describe more of us than we would admit to!

The world needs to see and understand that the church is NOT a club for the “people who have it all together”.

The good news of Jesus is an invitation for everyone!

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