Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 (NRSV)
Verse 9As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. Verse 10And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. Verse 11When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Verse 12But when he heard this, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Verse 13Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."
Verse 18While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." Verse 19And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Verse 20Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, Verse 21for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well." Verse 22Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. Verse 23When Jesus came to the leader's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, Verse 24he said, "Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. Verse 25But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. Verse 26And the report of this spread throughout that district.
This story reminds us that Jesus often broke through the “norms” of his day by fraternizing with the “others.” You know, those who didn’t fit with appropriate values, or look like, think like, or live like the “in-crowd”! There are plenty of “others” too in our world today—the homeless in our cities, the single people, the LGBTQ+ folks among us, the elderly, to suggest a few—we know who they are in our lives. Jesus reminds us that all of these people, including us, are the ones he came to save. We all need to hear Jesus’ story and promise. We may have different ways of hearing it; we may need to tell it in different stories, but it is the same for all. God loves all people no matter who, what, or where we are in our lives. Thanks be to God!
God, help me to love others just as you love me. Help me to see all those around me as your children who need your love and care. Amen.