Jesus invited Levi (also known as Matthew), a tax collector to follow him and become one of his disciples. Levi immediately left his tax booth to follow Jesus. He also invited his tax collector friends to come to his home for a dinner.
Tax collectors were among the most despised sinners, but Jesus reached out to them and other sinners as well. The religious leaders criticized Jesus for this, but he answered them saying he came to save sinners who recognized their sins, not people who didn’t think they needed to be saved.
Do you recognize your sins? I remember a time when I thought I was “good.” I couldn’t understand that all people sinned, especially me. But when my eyes were opened to the holiness that he desired, it wasn’t hard to see how self-centered and sinful I was. Aspire to see yourself through Jesus’ eyes, confess your sins, accept his forgiveness, and to live by his teachings. You will find find eternal life and joy through your relationship with Jesus.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Jesus Calls Levi (Matthew)
13 Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth.“Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.
15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees[a] saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?[b]”
17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”