Scum Matthew 9:9-13 John 15:12-17

Matthew 9:9-13 (NIV)
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

John 15:12-17 (MSG)
11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.

This blog is deeply inspired by a sermon I heard last night at our church.

Not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick. What is the name of the church you go to? There’s a church in Denver that named itself “Scum of the Earth Church”. I bet your church doesn’t have scum in its name. Mine doesn’t. I wonder if it has it in its pews? Unpacking the “who needs a Doctor” question, let’s remember that Christ was hanging out with the worst of the worst – the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the lowest rungs of society. He washed feet, a task given to the lowest of the servants. Christ railed against the established religious leaders, against the stratification of society, against the self-held opinions of the haves, against the showings of religion that missed the point of God, the point of being – Love.

What’s your church like? Does it welcome the broken? Does it welcome the marginalized? OK, how about if we go a little farther – does it seek the broken? Does it seek the marginalized? Does it serve the broken and marginalized and welcome them into the church? Does the mission field start outside the front door or across the ocean? Or, does the church look down its nose and say “I’m glad I’m not like that tax collector”?

Scum of the Earth Church. I love the name. Shouldn’t all churches have that theme in their name? They certainly should have it in their purpose – that’s what Christ did, that’s who He was. What does your Church look like? Who do you look like?

Christ’s words say:: Love one another as I have loved you. It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit. Remember the root command: Love one another.

This is the Church Christ calls us to be: Radically love those that the rest of the world says “stay away” to. Love scum the way He loves us – the tax collectors and prostitutes. If you think you’re better than the tax collectors, prostitutes and the rest of the sinners, you’ve joined ranks with the Pharisees.

When He says follow me, follow Him.

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