The Lord Jesus has a fierce expression on His face: “It’s you!” But Matthew the tax collector is feigning doubt: “Oh, but you surely mean this other guy, right?”
We can be such a fickle crowd. Christ our God is mighty patient with us.
He was overwhelmed with his own sin and repented in a way as mighty as the grace of God that was with him.
He would go on to write something in his Gospel that is simply stunning about the mercy that was shown to him, the extent of that mercy, how far reaching, how much our Lord is enthusiastic to get us to heaven. In this writing, he is ironic, incisive, with an almost mischievous triumphalism in humble thanksgiving to our Lord. What he wrote is this:
That should just throw us right down to our knees in humble thanksgiving to the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who will come to judge the living and dead and the world by fire. Amen.