Jesus scandalizes his religious contemporaries by accepting an invitation to dine with Levi, a known tax collector (one who purchased the right to ” collect” – read “overcharge” – the taxes of their fellow Jews).
The occasion reveals a fundamental clash of values, in which Jesus declares that God has come to rescue the “righteous” or the “sinners”? Indeed the time of that rescue is at hand, and the invitation is ultimately extended by God himself. But to accept it, will require a letting go of some previous (misguided) expectations of salvation. One will have to put new wine into new wineskins…
Levi accepts the invitation and we will later come to know him as the Apostle Matthew (and author of the Gospel of the same name).
With apologies for the audio quality, here is our friend, Rev. Mike Regele examining this dramatic encounter in detail.