It had been almost 40 years since Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, his own flesh and blood. His father Jacob was now dead, a father who loved him dearly in his early years.
Jesus sees Levi, a man no one trusts, sitting at his stand on the shore of Galilee and he says to him, "Come Follow Me." How could Jesus do such a thing? Tax collectors were lumped into the same category as murderers and theives.
As Jeremiah grew older he began understanding some of what was happening around him. He saw the foreigner, widow, and orphan abandoned. He saw people rejecting God’s way of love for their own twisted sense of self love.
Loving your neighbor means acting justly and loving mercy and that’s a big umbrella. It doesn’t just cover those you call your own. It covers those you don’t call your own too. The fatherless, the widow, the stranger.
One thing is absolutely clear about this story. You cannot fully love God without loving people. This is what Jesus means when he says he desires mercy, not sacrifice.
We can choose to love our enemies because in the end, because we know too that we will see Jesus seated at the right hand of God.