Partying with Tax Collectors and Other Disreputable Sinners!
Subject: People encountering Jesus Theme: Barriers – Varied people/groups and their responses Our work: BREAKING
THE BARRIERS – by following Jesus’ example.
QUESTION: Have you ever been in a group setting where you were uncomfortable or out of place? Working in Little
Rock, various parties, getting on the elevator with Bill Clinton and his entourage.
Can we talk about addiction and paranoia? Someone explain (so we can understand and some can be reminded of how
bad it feels.)
Another example: Everyone else is speaking a another language, what did you feel and think? Are they talking about me,
I think they are looking at me . . . Mike D > “burro”
TO DO: Watch Jesus interact with different people and spend some time talking about how we can break barriers.
9 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. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to
his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw
this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” 12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy
people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want
you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who
know they are sinners.”
Matthew is Called
1) V9 How did Jewish people feel about Jews becoming tax collectors for the Romans? What are some words to
describe these tax collectors?
Sinners, they broke the Pharisees rules! And probably God’s OT commandments. Social pariahs, no better than a robber,
they were despised, their testimony would not be honored in a Jewish court but they had the Roman law on their side
while collecting taxes, known cheaters.
2) V9 Why would Jesus call such a person to be one of His disciples?
He was BREAKIN BARRIERS and was excited to do it! He knew Matthews heart. He knew Matthew was ready.
3) V9 Why do you think Matthew began following Jesus? Remember, he gave up a lot of money.
-Jesus’ irresistible grace. (It’s probable that Matthew had already heard about what Jesus was doing.)
-Matthew was ready, what are possible reasons he was ready? May have hated himself and what he had become. He had
his “group” but apparently it wasn’t the best of folks to hang out with. (This was not magic – not everyone Jesus asked
Scene 1 – Matthew Has a Dinner Party
VIDEO – The CHOSEN – Matthew’s Dinner Party
4) V10 Why do you think Matthew invited Jesus, who he knew at a minimum was a rabbi, to a party with other tax
collectors and disreputable sinners?
He was excited to share this new friend with his friends. “You’ve got to meet this teacher and the guys that follow him!”
He was BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS and I think he was excited to do it!
QUESTION: How do you feel when you know you agree to meet a group of people who you don’t know, but you do
know that they are very different than you?
How do you think Peter and the guys felt, they were Jews following The Teacher? The Chosen – not too sure, not really
ready to break those barriers.
How to you think the tax collectors and disreputable sinners felt knowing they were going to meet Jewish teacher and his
students. (They’d probably heard about him.) Maybe curious. Maybe uncomfortable.
How do you think Matthew felt after everyone was there and he realized what he’d done?
FOR FUN: How did you feel the first time you walked into this building for “classes” and “church” with a bunch of “of
people” and that preacher named “Mike?” And you first had to work your thru the Front Door Check-In Crew? (I call
them the Garage Church Mafia. It’s hard to tell but I think Brenda is in charge.)
Scene 2 – Enter the “Religious” People
I’m not giving these guys much time!
5) V11 What was Jesus doing that made the Pharisees mad?
TEARING DOWN THEIR COMFORTABLE WALLS that made them superior!
QUESTION: Who did they actually confront? The disciples. Why didn’t they just ask Jesus? Haha!
6) V12 What was Jesus’ response?
He was BREAKING THE BARRIER so that sinners could approach him or he could approach them, and offer them life
in his Kingdom, with NO BARRIERS BETWEEN DIFFERENT PEOPLE!
Blessed are the poor in Spirit! Blessed are those that know that they aren’t “all that!”
7) V13 He then refers them to Hosea 6:6 I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices. And He tells them what it
means for them in that moment. What did he tell them?
He’s offered Himself to those that KNOW they need help, not to those who THINK they have it all together and have it
all figured out – because when you think you’re ok you’re not gonna listen.
Who in here thinks they’ve got their sobriety all figured out? Who in here thinks they’ve got God and the Bible and their
life all figured out? Nobody. WE NEED HIM.
That’s the bible lesson, now >> we are going to do some work.
Breaking Barriers Today
I love our loud, chaotic dinners on Tuesdays! Do you? (Thank Bob and crew.)
Note: Matthew was a guy
When is the last time you invited someone over for dinner – or – prepared/bought a meal and took it to someone? Or took
someone out to eat?
What does it mean to invite someone into your home for a meal? Acceptance.
What does it mean to you to be invited into someone’s home for a meal? Acceptance, care – no barrier.
When is the last time you had a meal, and it was your choice, with someone that was not at all “like” you?
What barriers do you see where you live that you can help break down? And what are you gonna do about it?
Racial, criminals vs good guys. Middle class and poverty.
When will you invite someone over for dinner?
When will you provide someone a meal?
When will you invite someone to a meal that is not like you?
Matthew did! And we’re still talking about him!