While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Mark 2:15-16


Not so long ago, in our modern world, a small group had gathered. Two leaders and a woman had come to discuss why she had not been accepted into a program.  One leader mentioned how he already saw so much of her. As she listened to their explanations, she heard him say, “She even wants to sit at a table with me.”

It was true. Talking with him had always taken place across a counter. She was a thinker and, as she had always known this person to be wise, she sometimes wished for in-depth discussion. So she had asked to sit at a table, longing to be treated like others who sat with him periodically.

But it didn’t happen. At the meeting she learned why.

She wasn’t considered worthy…though she did suspect there was more to it than that.

As I think about this woman – of how she must have felt – and probably continues to feel as she remembers – I want to remind her that there is One, a person called Jesus, who would never treat her this way or think of her this way.

And when I think of this Jesus my heart warms to remember how he accepts me and loves me. My heart warms as I think of him as the friend he is, one who will always come and sit with me when I want to talk.

Jesus welcomes me – and all of us – saying, “Come sit with me. Have a coffee and spend some time. Let’s talk about what’s on your mind. Maybe I can help sort things out. I’ll do my best to satisfy your needs. Because I love you. I’m your brother.”