Saturday 15 January 2022
1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19, 10:1. Lord, your strength gives joy to the king – Psalm 20(21):2-7. Mark 2:13-17.
‘I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners’
The TV series The Chosen dramatically portrays this scene from Mark. The tax collector (Matthew or Levi) is very clever, but a strange and isolated man. His work for the Romans gives him wealth, but ostracises him from all his own people. In this version, Matthew witnesses several miracles before Jesus turns to call him. By now, viewers are wondering just how Matthew can possibly fit in with the other disciples. But it is the strength of Jesus’ compassion and charisma that draws and soon holds him. Soon all the disciples are learning to accept those who are different at Matthew’s house over a meal. But the Pharisees lurk nearby and call in to criticise. Jesus delivers his trump card: ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick.’ And who of us can claim perfect health?