[From July 2, 2013]
"And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors & sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples."
In Jesus' day, tax collectors were some of the most hated people in all society. They were fellow Jews who could extract as much money as they could from their neighbors. So when Jesus called Matthew (who was a tax collector) to be one of his disciples, it caused a bit of a stir. But when MORE tax collectors started coming, even the Jewish leaders started talking! "Why dos (Jesus) eat with tax collectors & sinners?"
I think it's pretty cool that Jesus found a way into the tax collecting community, that led to many changed lives. Once Matthew was accepted, word spread. How much more good could we in the church do, if we cared less about what others think, and more about those who are the outcasts?