Today’s reading is Luke 5: 27-39
In today’s passage, we see the extravagance of grace. We see it first in Jesus’ calling of Matthew, the tax collector. Tax collectors were the worst of the worst in Jewish society. They were traitors to the people by working for the hated Romans. And if it wasn’t enough, they then used the power of the Roman government to steal from their people. The Jewish people really, really, really disliked the tax collectors. That is why Jesus is often criticized (as we see later in this reading) for eating with tax collectors.
Understanding tax collectors is one thing, but there is another thing going on here. That is the “eating with.” In our culture, we don’t really think too much about how we eat, who we eat with, where we eat. But in their culture who you eat with meant a lot, and still does. To eat with someone is a sign of acceptance. Of community.
It is here we see the extravagance of grace. Jesus, in eating with Matthew and other tax collectors and “sinners,” shows His love and the love of the Father for them. Now just like yesterday, when they encounter Jesus, they are changed, they do not stay the same. Matthew returns what is stolen and follows Jesus. But his life is changed, and it starts with the extravagance of grace.
It always starts with the extravagance of grace. Today, you are loved, no matter where you are, where you come from, or what has happened in your life. You are loved. Extravagantly, by an amazing God. May you know that. May that love change your life today.
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