Bible Event – Jesus’ Life
Discrimination thrives in our world. We can suddenly find ourselves being marginalised because of our academic ability, gender, age, height, weight, colour, physical deformities, disabilities… or even our job.
The Jews disliked many who were employed by their Roman rulers, their oppressors. That included Roman tax collectors; they viewed them as traitors. The tax collectors in Jesus’ day were not dissimilar to our own Government employees today; they collected taxes from the people but in person rather than via online.
The Jewish tax collectors received a commission on the amount they collected but were also allowed to retain anything additional above the required amount. They were said to be, “Despised” by the Jews; the language they used was one of hatred.
Matthew was a tax collector. One day, he was sitting at his booth collecting taxes from city travellers when Jesus approached him and said, “Follow me”.
Mathew got up, left his booth and instantly followed Jesus. (Matthew 9:9-13 Mark 2:13-17, Luke 5:27-32)
It’s what’s inside people’s hearts that matter, not their job or appearance.
Lord Jesus, open the eyes of my heart to all in need of help.
Give me, the courage to sit beside them.
Guide me, so that I understand their needs.
Strengthen me, to accept everyone as my friend.
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labour and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I am doing your holy will. Amen