13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. 15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, 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.”
I love Jesus’ words in verse 17…
I have come to call not those who THINK they are righteous, but those who KNOW they are sinners. (Capitals mine)
It makes me think of poor Matthew sitting in his tax booth; being shunned and hated by the Jews. Or the disreputable “scum” that Jesus had dinner with that night. They knew they were sinners but Jesus accepted them and offered them forgiveness and a new life.
I wonder if I’m connecting with the wrong sort I people. Maybe I’m spending all my efforts trying to reach people who think they don’t need reaching. Maybe I need to move; to reposition to a new “harvest field” where the people are hurting and broken and sick. To a field where if they hear of the wonderful hope and peace and joy and love that could be theirs, they will receive it immediately. To a field of people who would love to meet Jesus.
Lord Jesus please help me find these people that know they are sick and need saving and share with them the love you’ve poured into my life. Grant me the courage and conviction to move in different circles – to “go and make disciples”. Amen
Written by Boudy Van Noppen