As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” -Matthew 9:9-13
Let’s talk about Matthew — he’s working as a tax collector, which is considered the very bottom of the rung. They were considered thieves siding with the Roman Empire, outsiders, and were shamed by many. Matthew the tax collector is writing about the Sermon on the Mount, and he’s listening going I’m not included in this, I’m not salt, I’m not light. In the next chapter, Jesus walks up to Matthew and he says you, Matthew, come follow me. You can almost see him knock over his table. He says, yes Lord, I’ll follow you anywhere you’ll go. What an honor. Maybe you’re like Matthew. Maybe you’re like “not me, I am not salt or light. You feel like you’ve messed up, that you’re too old or too young, or not educated enough to be salt and light. It doesn’t matter, you are salt and light! You are. You are salt and light. Confess it, proclaim it, believe it, own it. The world needs you.
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for Matthew. Thank you for this example that no matter what we’ve done or how unworthy we feel, we are still salt and light.
REFLECTION: Do you ever feel like Matthew?