“And as Jesus reclined at table in the house,
behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and His disciples.”
What beautiful acceptance is displayed here.
These people were cast out of “good” society, some despised for alliance with Roman oppressors, others condemned for unrighteous acts.
But Jesus did not cast them out. They were welcomed into His presence. The presence of the Holy One, “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3).
These tax collectors and sinners were shown love, honor, and respect. Compassion and understanding. Because Jesus came down from heaven to meet us where we are, broken and lost in sin, and lovingly draw us out. Not with harsh words or condemnation, but with tender care and a desire for our good, our joy, and our freedom.
Oh, may we exhibit this compassion to all those we encounter. Regardless of how different their lives and viewpoints are from our own. May we display the gentle, lowly heart of our Savior, who beckoned all who are weary and burdened to come and find rest in Him (Matthew 11:28-29). May we accept others in love, that they may glimpse the heart of the One who truly understands and who loves them more than they can imagine.
Lord, what our world needs now is love. Sincere, powerful love flowing from Your heart. May they find it in Your people, those who are called by Your name. Cleanse us from our sense of self-righteousness. Humble us, Father. Show us our desperate need of You and Your great love for us, that we may be changed into reflections of Your character and Your beautiful heart.