Matthew 9:9-13    

Jesus recognized the spiritual need of Matthew and his friends. Jesus eats with sinners, many sinners among his followers, people who were aware of their spiritual need, not pretending that they had it all together.

Debunking, “I’ve got to get my stuff together so that God will love me, so that you can love me, so that I can love me.”    

What is Jesus like? Can God love me? What does Jesus care about?  

Jesus was not focused on people of influence.

Jesus did not exclude people who were honest about their own mess. Jesus was not afraid of being associated with people who were “less than”, unhealthy, out of alignment with God.    

What has Jesus said that is relevant direction for how I live today? Jesus says, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture:” – Matthew 9:13 …quoting… “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6  Jesus called out people who were focused on religious behavior and yet self-serving in their hearts. Jesus invited people to a transformational personal relationship with God. Jesus calls Matthew within the context of preaching Good News, “Repent of your sins, and turn to God.” – Matthew 4:17  “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, those who are humble,” – Matthew 5:3-10  “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise,” – Matthew 7:24  “Follow me.” – Matthew 9:9    
What is Jesus like? Jesus loves people. Jesus came to meet people right where they were, just as they were. Jesus loved them enough to not leave them the way they were. Jesus was happy to be with people who recognized their spiritual need.    

In Philippians 2:1-11 we read that Jesus walks in humility. Jesus is superior, and yet not considering self as superior in a way that is arrogant or condescending. Jesus is compassionate. Jesus is serving. Jesus is available for people who are aware of their own spiritual need.    

What do we learn?

Jesus loves people.

Jesus wants us to get real about our spiritual need.

What should we do?

Choose a Jesus-centered life.

Follow the example of Jesus in relationships. 

How?

Make time for honest examination of your spiritual need.

Love God by learning more about Jesus.

Evaluate the way that you view other people.

Ask God for fresh perspective. Make yourself available for people in spiritual need.