“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.And as Jesusreclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:9-13)
This is the account of Matthew meeting Jesus for the first time. Jesus offers him the offer that he had given to his other disciples: “Follow me”. The great thing about this account is that Matthew was given the offer even though he wasn’t looked highly upon by those around him. Tax collectors were despised by many in that time because the people felt that not only were tax collectors cheats but also sellouts to the Roman government. The fact that the offer that Jesus gave was open to a tax collector should encourage us today. The gift that Jesus offers is open to anyone regardless of who they are and what their background is. All we have to do is repent and turn from our sins and follow Him. That is some good news.