Jesus has no difficulty disrupting the status quo. Imagine being one of the “teachers of the law” in Matthew 9. Jesus publicly exposes thoughts and motives and laughs at the impotence of rules and regulations by healing the paralytic. Those who white knuckled the law were so focused on maintaining the illusion of control that they turned from the wonder of God’s love let loose to heal. And then I have to ask myself, “When have I held onto the same illusion and forfeited awe and wonder?”
Enter Matthew, the Gentile, the spiritually bankrupt, money loving tax collector. Jesus chooses him as a dinner companion and as a follower. To make matters worse, it appears that Jesus enjoys not only Matthew’s company, but his equally morally repulsive friends as well. When the Pharisees understandably question Jesus’s judgement regarding companions, Jesus offers homework,
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to the righteous, but sinners. Matthew 9:12-13.
After reading these words, I have to ask myself, “When has the company of other “respectable people” been more important than being with Jesus?”
Lastly, the status quo disruption isn’t just for those hardcore, salvation-by-works folks; it’s also for those who pave the way for the Kingdom of God come to earth, John’s disciples. They can’t understand why they must fast and yet Jesus’s disciples don’t miss a meal. Jesus describes his presence as a reason to celebrate, but also warns them that it won’t always be so. He joins brings gives saves what is old by bringing in the new.
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, make the tear word. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. Matthew 9;16-17
My take away is this; Jesus doesn’t want to leave me where he has found me. He wants to replace my desire to be in control with wonder and awe. He wants me to be in his company and not worry about what others will think. He wants to do something new, always new. My question for you is this, “What does he want to do in you?”