SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Scripture: Matthew 9:9-13
Matthew 9:9-13 says, “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’” Jesus demonstrated pastoral forbearance in dealing with people such as tax collectors. His intent was consistently questioned by the Pharisees. Yet we know exactly what Jesus was doing – He was demonstrating pastoral forbearance and offering salvation. He said the reason why He came was not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance for a change of mind. That shows us who pays the price for pastoral forbearance. Indeed, there is a price for pastoral forbearance. That price is shouldered by all of us who have to deal with betrayal, lies, thefts and the devastating cost of the sin of those who have not yet turned. Those of us who have to bear up under the weight of a sinner’s transgression are the ones who pay the price for pastoral forbearance.