Matthew 9:9-11 (NLT)
9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector�s booth. �Follow me and be my disciple,� Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, �Why does your teacher eat with such scum?�

Here we find the account of the Apostle Matthew being called by Jesus to be His disciple. Matthew left his place of business without hesitation to follow Jesus. Then Matthew invited Jesus to his home where he called friends and work associates to come dine. Many of these people considered disreputable sinners and yet Jesus dined with them while the religious leaders criticized his actions.

The Pharisees were critical of the people Jesus was dining with. They referred to them as disreputable sinners. Tax Collectors of the time often took advantage of others by collecting additional funds for their own follies. While the Pharisees would have never allowed themselves to associate with such people we find Jesus dining, having conversation and enjoying the company of those around Him.

The Pharisees in no way wanted to associate with the people they considered sinners. They would look from afar, passing their judgment and speaking critically of them. They made no attempt at friendship. They made no attempt to tell them about God. Instead they tossed them aside like trash.

Unlike the Pharisees Jesus was right there in the midst of the sinners. Jesus did not hesitate to be in an intimate setting to converse and share the love of God. These people were able to observe Jesus and get to know him. These sinners could see Jesus was different and they enjoyed His presence and took interest in Him. Jesus took interest in them because He knew the needs of their heart.

This is a lesson for Christians � We need to be like Jesus and not like the Pharisees. We need to hold firm to God�s word, but we need to share His word with others. If it takes dining with those who are different; for all sakes dine with them. If it requires taking time to talk with people who are not following God; stop and talk with them. Let your presence be the light of Christ in this world. Glorify Christ that others may see the hope of your salvation and the joy in your life.

I want to offer a word of caution - We all can fall to temptation especially when we are in setting where sin is bountiful. We should never place ourselves in a situation where we know there is a great potential to fall o sin. For if we fall we give reason to others to see sin as a freedom and that hurts the cause of Christ. So reach out to sinners, but be aware of your boundaries in doing so.

So with that said tell others about the love of Jesus and share His Good News of salvation. Reach out in love as Jesus would have done.