And it came to pass, as Jesus sat to eat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
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Having therefore called him, He also honored him with a very great honor by partaking straightway of his table; for in this way He would both give him good hope for the future, and lead him on to a greater confidence. For not in a long time, but at once, He healed his vice. And not with him only does He sit down to meat, but with many others also; although this very thing was accounted a charge against Him, that He chased not away the sinners. But neither do they conceal this point, what sort of blame is endeavored to be fixed on His proceedings.
Now the publicans come together as to one of the same trade; for he, exulting in the entrance of Christ, had called them all together. The fact is, Christ used to try every kind of treatment; and not when discoursing only, nor when healing, nor when reproving His enemies, but even at His morning meal, He would often correct such as were in a bad way; hereby teaching us, that every season and every work may by possibility afford us profit. A...
Now the tax collectors came together because they were of the same trade as Matthew was. For he took pride in the visit of the Messiah and invited them all together. The Messiah applied every form of healing. Not only while he was engaging in a formal discussion or healing or refuting his enemies, but even at breakfast he used to restore persons who were in bad condition. By means of these practices he taught us that every moment and every action can offer benefit to us.Certainly the dishes Matthew set before him at that time had come from unrighteousness and covetousness. But Christ did not ask to be excused from participating in them, because the gain to be derived from it was going to be great. Rather, he shared the same roof and the same table with people who had erred in their manner of acquiring such things. For such is the nature of the physician. If he did not put up with the decay of the persons who are sick, he would not set them free from their sickness. Certainly Jesus got ...
Jesus’ sitting at table has more significance for Matthew than just dining. Jesus will be feasting not on food but on the return of sinners. He will call them back through feasting, collegiality and human affection, enjoying himself with their pleasant conversation while reclining at table. He knew that if they recognized him as a powerful judge they would be shattered by the terror of his majesty and overwhelmed by the sheer presence of God unveiled (nuda). Thus, veiled in a human body he was able to communicate with humans. He who wanted to assist the guilty hides the fact that he was a judge. He who did not deny dignity to faithful servants conceals his lordship. He who desired the weak to be embraced by a parent’s love covers his majesty. :.