Matthew 9:9-17

Jesus asks Matthew to come with him

9 Jesus went away from that place. While he walked, he saw a man called Matthew. Matthew's job was to take taxes from people. He was sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, ‘Come with me and be my disciple.’ So Matthew stood up and he went with Jesus.

10 Later, Jesus went to eat a meal in Matthew's house. Many bad people and men who took taxes also came to the house. They came to eat there with Jesus and his disciples.

9:10These people were Jews who did not obey everything in God's Law. The Pharisees did not like them. They thought that they were bad people. The Pharisees thought that they themselves obeyed everything in God's Laws. They thought that they themselves were better than other people.

11 Some Pharisees saw what was happening. They said to Jesus' disciples, ‘Your teacher is eating a meal with these bad people. That is not right. They are people who do not obey God, and some of them take taxes from people.’

12 Jesus heard what the Pharisees were saying. He said to them, ‘People who are well do not need a doctor. It is people who are ill that need a doctor. 13 Go and study what it says in the Bible. God says there, “I want people to be kind to each other. I do not want them only to offer sacrifices to me.” Some people think that they always obey God. I did not come to help people like that. Some people know that they have done wrong things. I am asking those people to come to me for help.’

14 Then the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus. They said to him, ‘We often decide to fast for a time. The disciples of the Pharisees also do that. Why do your disciples never do that?’

9:14Some people stop eating for some hours or days so that they can have more time with God. This causes them to feel nearer to God when they pray.

15 Jesus answered them: ‘When a man marries, his friends cannot be sad. They cannot refuse to eat food while he is with them. But there will be a time when people will take the man away from his friends. At that time his friends will choose to fast.’

9:15In this picture story, Jesus is like the bridegroom. Those who follow him are like his friends at the marriage. Jesus will not always be with them. That will be the time when they will stop eating for some time to pray.

16 Then Jesus said, ‘Nobody uses a piece of new cloth to mend an old coat. If he does, the new cloth will cause the old cloth to tear again. It will make a bigger hole than before.

17 Nobody pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does that, the new wine will tear the old wineskins. He will lose the wine and the wineskins will spoil. Instead, you must put new wine into new wineskins. Then there will be nothing to spoil the wine or the wineskins.’

9:17Some people kept wine in bottles made from an animal skin. Wine grows as it gets older, but the wineskins become hard. New wine would cause them to break.
9:17Jesus is teaching the people that the old bottles are like the old Law. The new wine and the new cloth are like the new things that Jesus was teaching them. They could not mix the old things and the new things.