9 As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's booth ; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him. 10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners ?" 12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 "But go and learn what this means : 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
The gospel author, Matthew (chap. 9), above recounts an interesting moment in the life of Jesus, a circumstance of spending time with "sinners" Jesus revisits in other situations throughout the gospel accounts.
We are called to mix with those outside the family of the Lord while knowing a sanctification of our souls which creates a revelation of the living Spirit of Jesus.
This next series of posts in the Wild Wood explores the tension between being separate from worldly desires while living among those who are still ruled by the same, and this accomplished without coddling or condemning those with whom we interact daily.