As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” [Matthew 9:9-11 NLT]

I love the way that Jesus saw past the outcast status of a tax collector.
I cannot imagine what Matthew felt as Jesus called him to be a friend and disciple.
How beautiful it was to see Jesus sharing a meal with so many societal outcasts.

Jesus has such a wonderful perspective about the nonreligious outcasts of society.
He spent so much of his ministry, not with the religious elite but, with outcasts.
Interesting how so many religious folks continue to buck his approach.

Years ago we transitioned some new believers into small groups and made them assistants.
These folks had so much zeal and brought such an energy to the small group dynamic.
I think that outcasts have the ability to do what insiders cannot.

Outcasts do not have the religious baggage that so many Christians have.
They bring important perspectives about life and living to the table.
Yet sadly, so many insiders feel a need to conform them to their views.

Jesus wanted to be with those who the religious folks did not want to be with.
Let that idea sink in and percolate in your mind and soul a bit.
And perhaps it will open you to relationships with outcasts that are not like you?

It is so amazing Lord that an outcast wrote this gospel account. Help me to embrace outcasts.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.

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