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"Jesus is Your Friend"Stuart JonesWe have all done it. We have seen a person that was just too different than us, too loud, or too obnoxious, and we automatically write them off. We tend to write anyone off that seems “too sinful.” It may be a friend or co-worker that from the outside appears to not only enjoy the life of sin, but brags about it as well. Tax collectors were the outcasts of their time. They were looked down on and seen as one of the worst types of sinners that existed. They cheated and stole from the Jews, showing no remorse and bragging about their financial gain. Most everyone wrote off tax collectors--everyone but Jesus. In Matthew 9:9-13, Jesus walked up to a tax collector’s booth, looked Matthew straight in the eyes, and said, “Follow me.” Jesus chose an outcast to be one of the men He trusted most. The religious people judged Jesus for associating with the “sinners.” Jesus didn’t come for the healthy, but for the sick. He came to save us from our sin. Jesus doesn’t want the good deeds of the religious; He wants the faithful following of the humble. Jesus is our friend, in spite of who we are and what we have done. We will never know the impact of one who is outcast. Jesus chose one to be His disciple. When we begin to share the gospel with others, we cannot overlook the outcast and the sinful—they may turn out to be a disciple who will change the world.