BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (EATING WITH TAX COLLECTORS)

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Matthew, atuthor of the Gospel of Matthew, was a Jewish citizen who collector taxes from his countrymen for the Roman government. After Jesus called Matthew to become one of His disciples, Matthew invited some of his tax collector friends to his home for a metal with Jesus and His other disciples.

The Pharisees criticized Jesus for associating with tax collectors and other people whom they considered outcasts and sinners. Tax collectors were hated by the Jewish people because they considered them traitors who cooperated with the Romans to drain their country of its resources (see note on Luke 5:27).

But Jesus replied that His mission was to seek and to save people like Matthew and his friends. “They that be whole need not a physician,” He said, “but they that are sick” (Matthew 9:12).

MATTHEW 9:10- As Jesus sat at meat in the house [Matthew’s house, NIV], behold, many publicans [tax collectors, NIV] and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

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