Keep clapping. Yeah. So if you don’t know Harry, I wouldn’t be surprised because he’s just kind of always running around and doing stuff. Yeah, for those of you who don’t know Harry, Harry has been around for a couple of months now, and I usually wouldn’t make a big deal about it. I’ll just be like, hey, this person got baptized. Hip hip hooray.

But I wanted to point out the fact that Harry has been serving with the AV crew for, like, the past four, basically, since we started studying the Bible with him. The guy didn’t really need any convincing. I remember, I think Bubba was talking about needing help with AV stuff, or he was complaining about the latest services audio scandal. And Harry goes, Oh, I can help with that. And we’re like, you could? So I wanted to lift them up.

It’s also in my notes. Harry isn’t here today. I put it in all caps. Don’t do something dumb like tell them to stand. So remember his face.

Hopefully you get to meet him sometime if you get to give him a good stop before he keeps running around and doing audio stuff. So Congrats, harry. Love him very much wherever you are. So today’s sermon is about gratitude. Isn’t that so funny, given how timely is that?

Just a couple of days after Thanksgiving. But before I get into anything, have your Bibles turned to Luke 17 for me, please. So we’re here to talk about gratitude, and I need to define it real quick. Let me get the Oxford Dictionary definition up here. The quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

And the only word out of the many words that are up on the screen that I’m going to ask you to remember is quality, the quality of being thankful. And that word is kind of central to the whole thing that we’re talking about today, because although gratitude is displayed in action, it’s a character trait. The kind of person that you are, and actions and thoughts and motives are all vital to the whole process. But I encourage you as you’re thinking today, I’m going to ask a lot of questions, write them down.

It’s not any questions you need to answer now or any self evaluation you need to do at the moment. But I’m going to ask a lot of questions today, so just keep in mind.

And I’m just going to run through a series right now. So is it your instinct to show gratitude? Are you in the habit of practicing gratitude in your relationships with others and namely, your relationship with God? Is gratitude a central part of your character? Do you believe that it is?

Keep these questions in mind. And as always, this sermon is for everyone. It’s for all you guys. So even if you think you’ve got gratitude down pat keep an ear out, I might pick up something useful for you or for a friend. So you may remember that I told you to turn your Bible to Luke 17, and I am delivering on that promise by starting in verse eleven.

So starting in verse eleven, Luke 17 says now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, Jesus master, have pity on us. When he saw them, he said, Go, show yourselves to the priests and as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back praising God in a loud voice.

He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, Weren’t all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?

Then he said to him, Rise and go, Your faith has made you well, Amen. Big, big, thanks Jesus for doing that. So starting verses twelve through 13, let’s cover the context here very quickly. Leprosy was a debilitating disease to have in Jesus day, not just the fact that big welts and all of these horrible things would happen to your skin.

But I would be remiss to say that leprosy kind of was a blanket term over a number of different skin diseases. You’ll find that in a footnote in your Bible. That, though, doesn’t demean the fact that leprosy was chronic and contagious. So you had it for the rest of your life. And basically you had to be quarantined for the rest of your life. And isn’t that word so timely, quarantine Yikes.

So I think relate that to yourself as you think about it, because these guys, anyone who had leprosy had to basically separate themselves from their families for the rest of their lives, and especially in the religious context that Jesus was in. Lepers were unclean. So this meant that your family members also basically ignored you. People that you loved and who you thought were your friends now just write you off. That’s tough.

That is really, really hard. And usually lepers had to make colonies. They were popularly called leper colonies or just communities where lepers would just hang out together because there’s no point in not hanging out with other lepers. It’s not like you’re going to get it any worse than they do, so not to make light of their plight, but lepers were basically stripped of what you would think are basic human rights, food, shelter, security, being able to be embraced by your loved ones, being able to talk with your loved ones. Just every single thing that you would think is a basic human right.

Like these guys had to beg for food because they couldn’t get a job, they couldn’t work anywhere. So they had to basically stand at the entrances to popular cities and yell at people. They’d yell at people and say, hey, can you give me food? Could you give me money? Give me clothes?

These were the outcasts of society, no doubt, no doubt. And I don’t know, I would say, Have you ever felt this desperate? Because these guys were desperate? This kind of covers the context as to why ten dudes saw Jesus at a distance and just started shouting is because they were desperate for a cure. And honestly, I wouldn’t think that the pain behind the disease was what really needed healing.

They wanted to be made whole. They wanted to see the people that they loved again. They didn’t want to be ignored by their loved ones and by the people that they held dear in their lives. Imagine one of these guys with a husband or wife, and they basically have their spouse abandon them. I can’t paint the picture much worse.

So I would ask that, have you ever, ever felt this desperate, this desperate for a cure? So now that you have the context, obviously, it makes a little more sense as to why these guys were yelling at Jesus asking for mercy. But I also need to point out something spectacular on Jesus’s point is that if you’ll remember at the very beginning of the scripture, it says that Jesus was going to Jerusalem and crossed through the border between Samaria and Galilee. Now would it surprise you that Jesus didn’t need to go this way?

Jesus didn’t need to walk through these two towns to get to Jerusalem. Most Jews took the indirect route northeast across the River Jordan through Pariah because Jews hated Samaritans.

So I don’t know, especially kind of coming off the heels of the last sermon that I did. It doesn’t come as any surprise to me that this is the kind of person that Jesus is. And aren’t you grateful for that? That Jesus goes through places he doesn’t need to walk through to find people that need him.

He brought his Holy love to unholy places, and the border between Samaria and Galilee was as unholy as it could get. You had Samaritans and all of the Gentiles in Galilee. There was no worse place that Jesus could be caught in. But he knew people needed the Kingdom of God, and he put himself in positions where he could give it to people. I am very, very grateful for that. So moving on to verses 14 and 15, Jesus tells the men to go present themselves to the priest, and it’s easy to kind of get this lullaby effect right with Scripture? Especially where it’s just like “all Right Jesus let me to go to the priests. Get healed, Good deal. But hang on a second for just a minute, right? Because he tells them to just go somewhere else.

Come on. He tells these ten guys they say, Please heal us. And he goes, go somewhere else. Go talk to this guy.

What did you think for a second it’s like, why would I do that? I’ve been hearing all around town that you’re the guy to come to. Everyone’s been telling me that you’re this big healer who’s been doing miracles all over the place. And now you’re telling me to go to someone else? Question Mark?

That’s good. Right?

So, yeah, honestly, I would implore you to be like, what? Because then again, that’s where the desperation comes in. Honestly, if you haven’t, like, put yourself in these guys’shoes for a second, put yourself in the worst position possible. You haven’t been able to hug or shake someone’s hand or talk to another person that doesn’t have leprosy. For over 15-20 years, you have been deprived of what most would consider very human and regular contact.

So honestly, if Jesus told you to go eat grass, you would probably do it. That’s how desperate these guys were like, I need to go see the priest. Good. All right. I’ll do that.

No problem with that. And I’ll ask again, haven’t you ever felt this desperate for the Christians in the room? Isn’t that why you studied the Bible? Isn’t that why you went through whatever ordeal it was that you went through to get to where you are now is because you looked at your life and you said, I am missing something. I am missing something desperately.

And when you were presented with the good news about Jesus, you said that’s what makes me whole. Think about whatever it was that you went through, how desperate it made you to think I’m missing something. And for those of you who aren’t Christians or who are kind of on the fence, don’t really know what’s going on. I would encourage you to take stock of your life and think, is this what wholeness looks like? Is my life complete?

Obviously, I would be biased and I would say, no, it’s not. But that’s up for you to decide. We’re all desperate for security, for peace, for comfort, for happiness, for genuine love. And the one man who could offer it is right in front of you.

But sometimes you might say, tell you to do something kind of odd. And would you let something odd hold you back from securing eternal security? I don’t think you would, but it’s just a good you do something odd. You live forever. I don’t know.

But if you thought that was it, it gets better. It gets so much better because the ten guys were healed. They go away, they present themselves to the priest, and all ten are healed. Ten for ten. Jesus is killing it.

So their leprosy was cured. And they get to go back to their communities and embrace the people that they love. But out of these ten, only one guy comes back to say thank you.

That’s tough. One guy comes back, and it would be cool. I would move on if it wasn’t for the fact that this one guy was a Samaritan.

So obviously that doesn’t mean much to us, right? Because most of us aren’t Jewish. And if we are Jews don’t really hate Samaritans anymore. But isn’t it funny that some of the deepest lessons you could learn are from the lives of people that you’d least expect it from? Or from people who you might even have deep prejudice against?

And I think this kind of goes over as a blanket statement to everyone. But are there people who you’ve written off, who you think I can’t learn anything from this person?

Have your judgments blinded the ability to just learn from other people? Because that’s what this story points out. Luke wouldn’t have pointed out that this guy was a Samaritan if it wasn’t for the fact that it would have taught some people who were Jews for a very long time a very harsh lesson about the fact that, yeah, some people can do very good things and they don’t have to be Jewish to do it. Very interesting. So let’s wrap this up with verses 17 through 19 because Jesus asked some very, very important questions here. Weren’t all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner? This Samaritan? Where are the Jews? Where are the people who’ve been religious their whole lives? Where’s their gratitude?

I’m scratching my head right now. Help me out. And isn’t this a very chilling diagnosis of Christianity today where we often take our gift and don’t even cast a second thought to the giver? How many of us have relationships with God that are substantiated by asking for signs and displays of his love with no gratitude for his love, which is just proven by the fact that the universe and all of its contents are always maintained in balance.

How many of your prayers are filled with Thanksgiving alone and no requests? I was just thinking the other day I was listening to Christmas music. Yes, I listen to Christmas music in November before Thanksgiving. Thank you. Knew I would get some applause for that.

But I was listening to Do You Hear What I Hear and one of the lines says, Pray for peace, people everywhere. And I thought to myself, wow, wait, hold on a second. Jesus didn’t have to come and bring peace. He didn’t need to come be born in a manger born in a donkey trough and bring peace. He could have brought condemnation and justice for the justice for the Jews.

And we could have all been destroyed. And we could have moved on from this. But I don’t know. I see lots of crosses around people who have no idea what the cross even means. I don’t know.

Eddie spoke last week about Second Peter and Jesus’ second coming is certain. It’s not a question. And I think to myself, how is Jesus going to find me? Is it going to be with gratitude and humility or is he going to find me focused on the next thing that I can get?

Gratitude is the survival mechanism of the Christian. We are all sinners by unthankfulness and look at what gratitude secured the Samaritan leper. Jesus told him, rise and go. Your faith has made you well. It is no far stretch to know that Jesus speaks here of more than just physical healing. It’s more than just the sores on his body gone. Something in here changed.

Something inside of him changed it’s not just because he decided to go do what Jesus told him to do. It’s because he came back and said thank you. It’s because he came back and gave praise to God.

The pride that so easily sets up a man’s heart against Jesus has been felled by gratitude. This is the way to start putting the world back together. Just be grateful. Sounds cliche. Sounds like you’ve heard it before, I’m sure, but this is God’s invitation I’ve got tomorrow in the day after that.

Just be grateful for today. Just be grateful for today. If you’re here and you feel stuck. If you feel out of sorts, if you feel distant from God, it will come as no surprise to you that I’m going to tell you try to be grateful. I promise you, however bad things may be right now, and obviously that’s pretty timely coming out of what we would consider our quaratine during COVID and all of this life got pretty bad. But I promise you, it’s no comparison to how good God has been to you.

So some practicals for this week, or maybe all the weeks, if you’re, especially aspirational. I’d say, find things to say thank you for that you usually wouldn’t be grateful for.

I get to flatter you all with a little nature fact, but I love being a student at UCF because I get to do this job while also getting to learn super fun things about nature and the way that God has made creation and its balance. But I was just thinking the other day I was in a class and my professor said the Earth has a slight magnetism in its core. Cool. It’s not super unknown, but apparently this magnetism is what deflects solar flares, which would usually just destroy the ozone and kill us all.

I said, well, God, I guess I should say thank you for that.

You all thought, where is this going? Is this dude giving us a lecture on geomagnetism? No, but yeah, I just think it’s fun to find things that you would really odd things that you wouldn’t usually be grateful about. Try to make the majority of your conversations with God about gratitude and what you’re thankful toward him about. I learned this from my dear friend Will, who likes to pray and just say thank you and not ask for anything.

My God, what a treasure that man is. But yeah, just say thank you and nothing else that might help. And also tell someone why you’re grateful about them. Why you’re grateful about God putting them in your life. Make a habit of practicing gratitude with the people in your life. Look for things that other people to say thank you for, odd things, things that they wouldn’t normally be said thank you to for.

So, yeah, just a couple couple of practicals hope that you put that into practice love you all very much. But moving on to Communion, I kind of didn’t want to leave this statement about however bad it might be now, it’s no comparison to how good God has been to you.

For those of you who don’t know or who haven’t didn’t meet me when I first got into the Church, I used to be homeless. I used to live in a hotel just down the street that way with my parents, I lived in a small hotel bedroom with me, my sister and my two parents.

I thought, what good is Church if I have no steady place to live, or if I have no money to buy clothes or whatever basic human necessities, it kind of felt like my leper moment where I was met by Brian Kelly, who also some of you may not know in high school, and he invited me to Bible talk, and all I could think was, what good is this going to give me? I need money. I need shelter. I need a steady meal every day. The last thing I need to do right now is go to Church or go to a Bible talk or go to a Bible study.

And now, here we are. Less than four years later. This Church changed my life. All of you, this whole community. Without you, I wouldn’t be here. And without Jesus, I wouldn’t be here.

I have been forgiven of so much. So I try to love much. I was a leper who desperately needed healing. And Jesus healed me and put me right where I needed to be. And I am forever indebted in gratitude to him.

So if you thought some of the things I said were pointed today, promise, it comes from my own heart that’s had to wrestle with, I complain about things that I’m in now. And I remember that just three years ago, I was living in a hotel room, and I think, Well, Jesus, I think you got this one. Honestly think you’re good. So, yeah.

Thank you for listening today. Tell someone you’re are grateful for them, and I will pray for our Communion this morning. 

Who is Jesus? | Equipped

I’m Josh Pacheco. If you don’t know me, I lead the UCS campus Ministry here, 21 years young, still alive, somehow, still doing it? Yeah. Is this me? Yeah. I lead the campus Ministry. And we had our first week of school, not this past week, but the week before that, and it went amazingly, it went swimmingly. I appreciate your prayers so so much.

And they were answered. They were more than answered. It was our first in person fall semester in more than two years. Which is nuts to me. We haven’t seen new people.

We haven’t really met any new people. We’ve had a couple of baptisms in the campus Ministry, but for the most part, I haven’t been on campus. And that was probably my favorite part of the entire thing, given all the things I’m about to share is being back on campus in person. So let me show you some pictures. Those pictures are really good.

I like the one in the center with me with the UCF Knights guy really doing his thing, but yeah. So I’d like to share some interesting stories, starting with on a Tuesday morning, my buddy Will and I, we were we were tabling out near Memory Mall, which is just a huge, expansive field on campus, and there wasn’t much foot traffic where we were and were like, Why is it so slow? And then we look behind us and there is an entire event going on. The Multicultural Society decided to host a banquet with all of the world’s food in one place and stretching out beyond the front of the event was a line of 400 people and growing

And Will goes to me he’s like, hey, man, we’re obviously trying to reach out to these people who are walking by, but those people can’t go anywhere unless they want to get out of line.

So I go hmm. That’s a really incredible idea you’ve come up with there. So we go to the line, to the people who are sessile not moving. And we started inviting them to literally everything that we could invite them to all week. And it was awesome.

People were so encouraging. There were so many people who were like, oh, my gosh, what are you guys doing here? Are you guys going to be our friends? And we’re like, yeah, literally. Yes.

So it was just amazing to walk the entire expanse of the line, which seemed to never end. And then when we got to the end, we just did the sequel, and everyone heard the same exact spiel all over again. And it’s not just that. But then 20 minutes later, they had a DJ booth set up with a person on the mic doing their mic thing, talking real loud, and then they go, hey, if you want to advertise your club to the event, go ahead and I really?.

And the picture with Nitro at the top center is where that happened.

There’s the tents all in the back, and you can see people getting food and stuff, but I Stroll on up to the Mic, hey, everybody, How’s it going? And I did something I never thought I would be able to do in my entire academic career while being at UCF, which was talk to 700 motile strangers and tell them about Jesus and about our club, about what to come to. Thank you. That’s worthy of applause. It’s worthy of applause because God fulfilled a dream for me, regardless of who came out.

That was probably the best time I’ve ever had on us in the four years that I’ve been there. So yeah, there’s plenty more. I mean, I’m not going to burden, will not burden, but share all of the news. But even Thursday morning, there was a bunch of rain going on, and I wasn’t there. I was in class, but Leslie was just like, you know what?

Take some Flyers and we’re going to do this. So everyone huddled up in the center of the tent and was just like screaming at people. So I think it was encouraging the amount of people that came up to us without us even prompting them. But I was also incredibly encouraged by the outgoing nature of our campus. Again, given that we haven’t been on campus in more than two years, every single person in our campus Ministry had the excuse just be like, I’m not really trained in this.

I don’t really know what to do, but I shout out to Colin, he just got here about a couple of weeks ago, and he probably did better than I did. Dude was handing out water. Dude was handing out Flyers just like being excited to meet new people was just the most encouraging thing ever. So I want you to know that your prayers were answered. Every single prayer that you gave up to God, God answered and more at the expense of my body, because I was exhausted at the end of the week.

But nonetheless, it was an amazing week, and the sermon that’s coming out today was actually from our the end of the first week of school. Tyler mentioned we had a Sunday service last Sunday. We had a lot of new faces, and that was really encouraging because again, I was able to tell a bunch of strangers about Jesus. As you’ll see that’s a running theme of mine is that I really like doing that. I should have told you a couple of minutes ago.

If you could keep your Bibles turned to Matthew Nine, I will give you the reference in a second or it’ll be up on the screen. But the title of today is, who is Jesus? Who is Jesus? And this is a really important message for me, because I think this message came out to be the totality of what I’ve come to know what kind of person Jesus is over my campus experience because I got baptized right before getting into campus. And I didn’t really know, as I was writing it at the time that it’s really the kind of culmination of a short three years of coming to be well acquainted with Jesus.

And even as I was praying this morning, I was excited for what the many years to come will divulge. But yeah, again, the best part of the week, the first week of school was talking to strangers about Jesus. And the truth is, there are more people today than ever before curious about who the man Jesus Christ is. And if you are here today curious about that.

And then trust me, this lesson for you. But some of you are longtime Christians. Some of you have been Christians for a short while. Some of you may have grown up in the Church and feel a bit disenfranchised. And some of you again don’t even know who the guy Jesus is, but you’re like man, it would be cool to know him. Whoever you are this is for you. So the point of today is to answer the one question, who is Jesus? You’ll hear what he means to me. And I hope that you walk out today just with a little better understanding of who he is. But why you should make a decision to know him more, but without further Ado, let’s get right into it.

So we’re going to be reading versus nine through 13. And I’ll read those for you. As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collectors booth. Follow me and be my disciple, jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisee saw this, they asked the disciples, Why does your teacher eat with such scum? When Jesus heard this, he said, Healthy people don’t need a doctor. Sick people do. Then he added, now go and learn the meaning of this scripture.

I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices for I’ve come to call not those who think they’re righteous, but those who know that they’re sinners. Amen. Thank you, Jesus. So let’s start in verse nine. Real quick, right out of the gate. Let me give you some context.

It may look here like Jesus is just calling the tax collector from out of nowhere and just being like, hey, follow me and they have dinner and some guys are mad about it. Jesus says some things and moves on. That’s a gross over simplification. But I’ll give you what’s going on here. Tax collectors in Jesus’s Day were the most popularly despised people group ever. Not too unlike today.

People hate taxes in general. But tax collectors were disreputable most of all here because they liked to extort money from people. You have a scale you put how much you owe on here to the state. And this is where you put your money. But usually tax collectors would weight the other side so that you you would have to pay more money and then they chop money off the top, take it for themselves, which was just extortion.

So it was easy for people for the general public to hate tax collectors. Matthew had the market privilege, the displeasure of being a Jewish tax collector. And this was really important because he wasn’t just reviled by the general public. He was mostly hated by Jews, too. His own kinsmen hated him because they thought you betrayed us.

Not only are you working for the enemy Rome, but you’re also working in a line of work that’s sinful and disreputable. So obviously there are a lot of opinions here about what kind of person a tax collector is. Most people have made up their mind about what kind of person Matthew is, and he has no say in that. Regardless of whether Matthew did or didn’t engage in these practices, he was hated and he didn’t get a stay in the making of his reputation. So I’ll ask you, have you felt written off?

Have you felt tired of being seen a particular way? Are you tired of feeling like someone’s made up their mind about you without you even getting a word in edgewise? Because if you are, these are the kinds of people that Jesus’s heart ached for. Jesus was in pain for these people who didn’t get a say in their reputation or in the opinions that people had of them. He loved people like that.

And this means an incredible amount to me because this was Jesus view of everybody. Everyone’s got someone who doesn’t like him. But Matthew, most of all, no one liked him. Jesus chose to see the best in people in whom no one saw a sliver of good. He emulated God’s heart of goodness and made an intentional decision to look past the ways people got categorized and to bring out the good, even in the most unloved.

I myself figured I was written off. Most of you may or may not know my past, but I don’t know. Before I came into the Church, I was caught up in a big mess as anybody who became a disciple. But I don’t know. I went through a lot of rejection growing up. I went through a lot of bullying funny enough, and it felt like I would go to school, to a place where I couldn’t really fit in with anybody, to come back home to parents who never really talked to me about my life. And then I would go to Church every Wednesday and Sunday, and I would be told that I was a sinner and that I was evil and that I needed to repent. So just a really sterling line of criticisms all around. But I thought I was beyond redemption.

So the better way to do it is to just fake it. I could fake being a Christian. I could fake being outgoing, and I could fake being a good person. But I couldn’t fake feeling loved.

And that’s why I’m in love with Jesus is because he chose to see the best in me. Sorry. He chose to see the best in me when nobody else would.

Hit different that time. So, yeah, my question is, do you feel that way? Do you feel like, oh, man, I just don’t feel like anyone sees me as a good person. I don’t feel like anyone sees the good that I have inside of me because Jesus says Jesus does see it.

And if you’re a disciple and you’ve forgotten that, remember it because you were once there, but nonetheless, moving on to verses ten and eleven, Matthew invites Jesus to his place for dinner, and Jesus says yes, which has everybody really uncomfortable, including the people who follow Jesus, including the people who believe in every single word that has come out of Jesus mouth. Even they are like, Yo, this is kind of weird. This is strange. It was one thing for you to ask the tax collector to follow you.

It’s a completely different thing to go with him and his friends to dinner at his house of all places.

It was incredibly strange, and it rocked even the disciples off of their feet. But that didn’t matter to Jesus, because regardless of everyone else’s opinions, Jesus chose to meet this man where he was at. Maybe Matthew couldn’t offer much, but he could offer dinner in a place to stay, and that’s good enough for Jesus. So, yeah, think about that. Just ponder it for a second.

Jesus didn’t just hang out in Church with his Church friends or in synagogue with his synagogue friends, or however you want to see it. Jesus didn’t just hang out with the people that he liked, and he’d come out here every once in a while and say, You’re a sinner. You’re a sinner. You’re a sinner. Goodbye.

Jesus went out there. You know, the popular opinion is that Jesus only went to Holy places and hung out with Holy people. But what I see here is a Holy man bringing his Holy love to unholy places. Anybody in Jesus’s day would have seen a tax collectors home as unholy. And you can make the equivalent of that to your modern day as whatever you’d like.

I’m not going to spout out examples, but what’s an unholy place to you?

Have you been hanging out in only Holy places and with only Holy people? Because there are people out there who need the Kingdom of God. There are people out there who need you to go get dinner with them, who need you to go get dinner with them and their friends? Because Matthew didn’t just invite Jesus to dinner with him. He invited his buddies, his work colleagues, his coworkers, his supervisor.

Jesus ate dinner with not just with a tax collector. But with multiple tax collectors and Romans. Jesus went to the mission field. If all you could offer was dinner in a place to say that was more than enough for Jesus to work with. And if you’re on the opposite side of the fence where you just really only have dinner and a place to say, I’ll tell you that again, all that Jesus needs are you burned out with religion? Are you tired of expectations and rules that you just feel you can’t live up to?

Are you tired of trying out Church or Christianity and not really feeling like you fit in? Because I’ve got good news for you, the Jesus that I see here is for you. The Jesus that I see here wants to spend time with you, and he wants to help you understand what the real expectations are. Expectations are an incredibly huge part of this because you see in verses twelve through 13 that the Pharisees aren’t super happy about Jesus’s position here. You know, they go up to his disciples, not to Jesus.

They go to his followers and they say, hey, why is this guy eat with such scum? Why does he eat with trash the worst that the world has to offer. And Jesus responds with healthy people don’t need a doctor. Sick people do. That’s a bone chilling line. Now get this.

The Pharisees responsibility, as Jewish teachers was to teach the scriptures to people who desperately needed them. But even the Pharisees in Jesus’s worldviews, their goals weren’t too far off. Both the Pharisees and Jesus wanted the Kingdom of God here now amongst us. But the Pharisees, in their well intentioned but misguided actions, made the expectations and the goal of their faith incredibly difficult to attain to. To the point where it shut the door to the Kingdom of Heaven, to people who desperately needed to get in. So this is why Jesus was angry.

Jesus was angry, not at sinners because they don’t know any better. He’s not angry at the person who’s just here’s a meal. Help me understand this. He’s angry at the people who know better but aren’t doing the right thing. He’s angry at the people who know better who have the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven right here, and they’re just dangling them in front of people saying you can’t get in now.

Jesus came to call, not those who think that they’re righteous, but those who know that they’re sinners.

Now, this might be a little pointed. But if you think you are righteous, if you’re convinced I’m beyond all of this, I’m going to need you to check yourself, man. I’m going to need you to rethink your stance because that kind of thinking is what leads people like Matthew or the Matthews of our day to think I’ve got no place in there.

I don’t know why Matthew followed Jesus, given he had every excuse to say, everyone else hates me. Why are you any different? Matthew took a chance. He had faith and good for him because we have an entire gospel because of him, because he decided to follow Jesus. But some other people haven’t gotten that lucky.

Some other people see the Church and they’re just like, well, those people are too good for me. I’m not good enough for that. I encourage you to extend Jesus welcoming hand.

Jesus has thrown the doors to the Kingdom of heaven wide open for any kind of person. And he wants those of you who don’t think you can get in to come on. Get on it. I said earlier, Jesus wants you to know the true expectations of discipleship.

None of us are going to be sinless. None of us are going to be perfect. But that’s not what he was asking for. Jesus gave perfection. Perfection already been given. We’re good.

He just wants you. If this kind of Jesus is appealing to you, if anything about what I said about Jesus today excited you or even relieved you, I encourage you to talk to someone after this. Get in a Bible study, crack open the Bible with a disciple and say, Help me to know him better. And for those of you who already know Jesus, you’re already in the now you’re like man, I know all this already.

Please don’t forget. That’s why we get Pharisees. It’s people who forgot. People who have all their podcasts and all of their Bible trivia knowledge and all of the things that they know about scripture. And they just get to sit in their lofty place and look down at other people. Don’t forget this because you were here once. You were at the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven, trying to get in.

And God showed you the distinct Grace of showing someone along the way to teach you the way of Jesus. I was that kind of person. I needed that. If one person didn’t decide to reach out to me in high school, I wouldn’t be here talking to you right now. People have so much potential to do good.

And Jesus saw that. And I pray that you see that. Show your friends. Show your neighbors, show your loved ones. Show your co workers the fact that the Kingdom of heaven is wide open for everyone in your speech, your way of life, and your gratitude for the kind of life that you get to live now because of one man, Jesus Christ.