“And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (KJV)
During His earthly ministry, Jesus was known as a friend of sinners.
He had a knack for hanging out with society’s outcasts…like tax collectors, prostitutes, and drunks. Among the religious leaders, tax collectors were considered the worst of sinners. So when Jesus called Levi, a former tax collector, to be one of His disciples, and later sat down with him and several of His IRS friends, the religious leaders were furious.
They were so angry that they complained to Jesus’ disciples about His behavior, which in their opinion was totally unacceptable. Jesus’ response to their petty bickering was priceless. He said to them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. In other words, He simply reiterated His mission statement.
I find it ironic that Jesus was not only rejected by the religious community then, but that He is also rejected by many churches now. It’s mind boggling to think that Jesus couldn’t be a member of the church that He founded.
It is my prayer for the church…and myself…that we would be so blessed that we too would be called “A Friend of Sinners”. For until we genuinely love people, especially sinners, the great commission is nothing more than the great omission, and the church reduced to just another social club.
Take heed my friends…there are many sick who need our help!