To read the texts click on the texts:Gen 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67; Mt 9:9-13
The text of today contains the call of Matthew, and Jesus’ fellowship with tax collectors and sinners. It is only in the Gospel of Matthew that the tax collector is called Matthew. In Mark and Luke he is called Levi. However, in the lists of the Twelve in both Mark and Luke, the disciple is named Matthew and Levi does not appear.
It is unlikely that Matthew and Levi refer to the same person. It was rare for Jews to have two different Jewish names. The reason for the author choosing the name Matthew remains unknown.
What is striking in the text is that whereas most people who passed by the tax office would see a corrupt official, Jesus was able to see a potential disciple. It was Jesus’ way of looking that led to the transformation and the response of Matthew to the call.
In his response to the objection of the Pharisees, Jesus responds with a common proverb about the sick needing a doctor, and also quotes from Hoses 6:6, which here is interpreted to mean that the mercy of God in Jesus is extended to all humanity and takes precedence over everything else. All else must be understood in this light.
There are times when we judge people too easily and many of these times our judgement of them is negative. This is also how we often look at the whole of creation and because we put labels on things, people and all else in creation, we may miss out on the uniqueness that each possesses.