… Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’.
Mark 2:17 (NIV)
Read: Mark 2: 13-17
Consider: Today’s reading from Mark 2 records the calling of a tax collector, Levi, and Jesus later having a meal at his house. We are told that Jesus saw Levi at his tax collector’s booth and called him to follow him. Notice that once Jesus said ‘Follow me’, Levi left his tax booth and immediately followed Jesus. Next we read of Jesus having a meal at Levi’s house. The people who were attending were from a broad spectrum of society and most didn’t object to Jesus and his disciples being there. What we do see is the religious establishment (the Pharisees), objecting because they thought it was inappropriate for Jesus to be mixing with the lower echelons of society (tax collectors and sinners).
Once Jesus became aware of the Pharisees’ attitude his response gets straight to the point. He says: It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’ (Mark 2:17). Jesus was pointing out that the natural place for him to be, was in the company of those that the religious elite regarded as of low esteem and not worthy of their attention.
Jesus reinforces that his mission is to bring everyone back into a right relationship with God. He uses the analogy of a doctor and patient to get his point across. This would have shocked the Pharisees, as they would have regarded themselves as ‘well’ spiritually and not needing anything Jesus could offer them.
How do you see yourself? As being well spiritually, or as sick and in need of God’s forgiveness?
Pray: Father, we thank you for the gift of grace you have poured out on all mankind, across all levels of society, regardless of education, wealth, nationality or status. You see the sickness of sin in all of us and you offer the healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Amen
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