January 10, 2008
And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
As we can see in today’s verses, the fact that Jesus would be seen with tax collectors and prostitutes—much less attend the same party as them—was scandalous in His day. No one, especially a religious person, would have dared spend time with those kinds of people!
Yet Jesus often spent time with outsiders. He often went out of His way to embrace those whom society deemed as “riffraff.” Why did He do this?
The answer is right there in Mark 2:17 when Jesus says, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
There were people who were sick with sin in Jesus’ day just like there are people who are sick with sin in our day. Yet so often, we’re so offended by other peoples’ sin that we isolate ourselves from them. But this isn’t something Jesus modeled when He was here on earth!
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, you and I ought to be going out of our way to befriend those who are sick with sin. Does this mean engaging in their sin so that we can have an audience with them? Absolutely not. Does it mean condoning their sin so that they might listen to us? Not at all!
What it does mean is that you and I should be willing to meet people where they are in their sin and then introduce them to the only One who can heal them… Jesus Christ, the Great Physician!
Let me ask you, is there someone in your life right now whose sin is so great that you’re avoiding contact with them? Maybe it’s the guy in your office who’s cheating on his wife. Or maybe it’s the lady next door to you who constantly yells at her kids.
Whoever it is, you and I should be willing to get out of our comfort zone to befriend those who aren’t walking with Christ.
This is what Jesus did… and I pray it’s something you and I will do every day!
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, you and I ought to be going out of our way to befriend those who are sick with sin.