Jesus Welcomes Sinners…
Even the worst sinners have a place with Jesus:
Once again he went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. -Mark 2:13-14, NAB
Levi, also known as Matthew (see Matthew 9:9), was a tax collector. Tax collectors were Jewish people known for extorting money from the Jewish people. They collected taxes for the Romans, but often collected more than what was required. This extra money lined their own pockets, so the Jewish people despised tax collectors for being thieves among their own people.
Most Jews would not associate themselves with sinners like the tax collectors. Jesus was different. Despite Levi’s sinful nature, Christ accepted Him – as long as he turned from his old ways. Levi dropped everything and followed Him. By leaving his sinful nature behind, Levi could receive Christ’s forgiveness like anyone else.
Do you feel that you have sinned against God? Do you feel that you have too dark of a past to receive Christ’s forgiveness? Many people choose not to come to Christ because they feel their sins are too great., but the story of Levi teaches us that it is not too late. We may have been the most vile of sinners, but Jesus will still welcomes us with open arms.
Regardless of our past, if we want to find salvation through Christ, all we have to do is let go of our old ways and follow Him. Levi began a new life with Christ, and so can we. When we accept the grace that God is offering, we are leaving our sinful past behind. We can begin a new life free from sin and, one day, we will be welcomed into God’s Kingdom.
Begin your new life today. Let go of your sinful past and follow the One who created you. It’s not about who you were, but who you are and will be. Through God’s mercy, accept the forgiveness being offered and start a new life in Christ Jesus. It’s never too late.