While Jesus was having a meal in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and other outcasts came and joined Jesus and his disciples at the table.
Matthew 9, 10
Jesus was a guest at Matthew’s, the tax collector. Publican cheated travelers and usually were quite rich people. But of course they were very unpopular and social outcasts. Only Jesus called publicans in His successor! Because:
“People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.” (V. 12f)
Jesus wants to save sinners, this is why He has community with them, eats with them and calls them. He had no inhibitions due to his reputation! It was more important to Him, what God thought about Him, than what people might thought. And they really were mocking Him and called Him a glutton and a drunkard.
The more we become one with Jesus and follow Him, the less it means to us, what people talk about us. It becomes less important to us and hurts less when they gossip about us. Insecure people can be beaten with some pointed remarks. But who is rooted in the Lord, stands firm. People need to be big, strong, prosperous and beautiful outwardly, so no one hurts them, but they are admired. The men have the fastest and best cars, women make themselves pretty. They find it very, very important what others think about them.
And to us it is very important what Jesus thinks about us. As soon as we begin to believe that we are very important and worthy to Him, our dependence from other people’s honor changes. We stand firmly, even when others revile. We want to sacrifice our reputation to Him and do not let us stop from doing the works that Jesus would have done in our place.
Thank You, Jesus, I’m worth a lot to You! You build me up and give me security. You hold me and comfort me when others hurt me. Yes, I’m dependent on You and want to please You. To You I sacrifice my reputation and name. It shouldn’t matter what others think about me. I want to go my way so that You like it! I will not feel to good to talk to the “outcast” and to love the “sinners”. You are my Lord and my good shepherd!