When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?" But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
Insights: The third barrier that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has identified is the thought: I will be criticized by others or embarrassed of people do not respond. Matthew was so happy about being a follower of Jesus that he had a party and invited everyone, especially those who needed Jesus. As we read today’s verses we see that Matthew was criticized, but there were great results. Just like with Matthew, the same is true of us. If we look more closely, is it really Matthew who is be criticized and rejected or Jesus? Jesus was the real focus of the meeting and controversy. Beloved, I would love to tell you this third barrier did not exist, but it does. What we need to come to understand, however, is this barrier is not really a barrier at all. People are facing eternity in the lake of fire separated from the love of God if they don’t come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If we don’t share, then who will? Their eternity is at stake. All that is at stake for you is a little discomfort that will soon pass. In comparison to these two extremes, I don’t believe there really is a barrier. The story of Matthew implies that sinners confessed their sins and received forgiveness from Jesus. Also by inference we can deduce that new believers met other followers of Jesus and were established in their new faith. What do you think this party did for Matthew’s faith? I believe he grew spiritually. One last thought, after Jesus responds to the Pharisees criticism there does not appear to be any more opposition that evening. In other words, the critics were silenced. Now it is important to understand that the critics were not silenced by Matthew, but by Jesus. This same truth is found today as well. In the end, Jesus will silence every critic who condemns or attempts to embarrass us for sharing the love of Jesus. Beloved, let me say again, this third barrier is not really a barrier. Share the love of Jesus lavishly.
- Which do you desire more, the temporary approval of your lost friends which will die and spend eternity in the lake of fire or the “thank you” from them if they receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior?
- In other words, are you afraid of their temporary earthly criticism and rejection more than the eternal separation you will experience of they don’t come to know Jesus?
Prayer: Father, forgive me for fearing criticism, rejection and embarrassment. Increase my faith and grant me boldness to share the love of Jesus in spite of the possible earthly consequences. Amen.