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S (SCRIPTURE):Mark 2:13-17
13Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him. 15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”
17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
O (OBSERVATION): Jesus call to discipleship (following him) reaches out to the outcast and scum of the earth. God's redemption is not for those who think themselves righteous but those who need redeeming.
A (APPLICATION): I love the call to Levi. I love it because again Jesus changes his name to Matthew. I love it because Levi is not the typical disciple, in that, he is a tax collector (think IRS agent...and a corrupt one). I love it because Levi invites all of his sinner friends to meet the man who changes his name and his life forever.
This text makes me wonder about the church in North America as it pertains to a culture rather than conversion or life change. The church in North America wants to reflect what is good and holy in its membership but resists those who might need redeeming. It is becoming a Museum of saintlyness rather than a hospital for sinners. Its leaders rail against moral failures and hide their own sin from public view. They condemn the sins of everyone else with judgement without showing their own repentance.
Yet here Jesus tells us who are main audience might be....unhealthy people.
“Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
That becomes a problem when the unhealthy people invite their unhealthy friends to come into relationship with the man who will change their lives forever.
P (PRAYER): Lord, I am a beggar in the kingdom of God in need of mercy and forgiveness.