READING:  Matthew 9:9-13        English - Margaret   Chinese - Monica

Jesus Calls Matthew
9  As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
10  And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
11  And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
12  But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
13  Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

COMMENTARY                            - Elizabeth

We continue to follow Study 3 from our 30 Hour Famine Bible Study book.

Over the last few days we have looked at institutions (or rules) which had changed from responding to the needs of people to making people respond to the needs of the institution.  It should not be too difficult to think of organizations, businessess and trading patterns which began to service the needs of people, but today create wealth for some and poverty for others.  It seems clear from our reading that Jesus is concerned about practices and situations which make a few rich and a lot of people poor.

The Bible Study book presents a quiz for us to do.  How would we answer these questions:

1.  Do you use situations, rules institutions for
(A) your own advantage, or
(B) do you consider others as well and forego your rights sometimes?
2.  When confronted with a difficult or awkward customer do you
(A) hide behind the company policy and rules and avoid involvement, or
(B) try to understand and serve the person?
3.  When you are able to eat anything you want, do you
(A) eat more than you need, or
(B) eat only a sufficient amount?
4.  When buying and selling or bargaining do you
(A) try to take advantage of other's weakness, or
(B) try to be fair?
5.  When asked to do something by your younger brother or sister, do you usually
(A) refuse first, or
(B) do what is requested?
6.  When playing a game, is your desire
(A) to win regardless of how the other players feels, or
(B) to see all people enjoy the game?

If you score more A's than B's on this quiz - you are part of the problem!

Poverty, oppression, exploitation are often caused by selfish and greedy attitudes being expressed through organizations and institutions.  But Jesus said, "I desire mercy.  Love your neighbour.  The Sabbath (institutions) are for people."


Heavenly Father,  help us to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
In Jesus' Name we pray.  A-men