What is the worst illness you have ever endured? What treatment did you receive? How relieved were you when you got better?
Read Matthew 9:9-13.
Do you think following Jesus was a difficult decision for Matthew to make? Why or why not? What do you think it means to "follow Jesus?"
If this story were to happen in West Michigan in 2009, where do you think it might take place? Who do you think would be the tax collectors and sinners? Who do you think would be the Pharisees?
In verse 12 Jesus suggests that some are "healthy" and don't need a doctor. In verse 13 he seems to say that some are "righteous." If everyone is a sinner (Romans 3:23), than why is Jesus saying that some don't need to be saved? Who are these "healthy" and "righteous" people?
Why did Jesus eat with tax collectors and sinners?
What do you think Jesus meant when he said, "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice."?
Sometimes its easy as Christians to find ourselves looking down on (or judging) the "tax collectors and sinners" of our society. How can we avoid this?
What does "mercy" look like in West Michigan in 2009? What do you think the "sacrifice" Jesus is talking about looks like in West Michigan in 2009?
What do we need to do to be like Jesus in this story?