Scripture: Luke 5:
30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"
31 Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Observation: You can not receive forgiveness until you admit your sinfulness.
Application: Yesterday I wrote about how we can’t receive new wisdom when we think we already have all the wisdom we need. To gain new insights, you must be searching for them and know that you don’t have all the answers. Today we’re going to go a little deeper as Jesus tells some of those who thought they had all the answers that they can not receive forgiveness until they recognize the fact that they are sinners.
The Pharisees thought Jesus ought to be spending more time with them, hanging around with the pious and religious keepers of the law but instead He ran around with the roughest crowd in the neighborhood. "Why are you over here with these sinners Jesus?" "If you really are the Messiah then you ought to be staying away from those unclean defilers."
Jesus knew exactly what He was doing, He said "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." And the problem wasn’t that the tax collectors and sinners that he was hanging around with were the only ones who were under the sickness of sin, but it was that those who society had labeled as bad people were the only ones who really knew what they were and accepted the fact that they had flaws.
The religious folks who were complaining to Jesus were in worse trouble than the sinners because they refused to see accept their imperfections and were relying on their own morality (which was lacking) to make them right with God. No one is ever going to be able to teach a person who thinks they know everything, and no one can repent and be truly forgiven for something that they refuse to see in themselves.
One of the greatest dangers of becoming "churched" is the slow and overlooked process of feeling like you are better than other people. You may live your life in a more disciplined way and may strive more than someone else to be a good person, but no matter how hard you try, you’ll never reach perfection in this life. We will only be made whole when we stand with our Lord and are clothed in HIS righteousness that covers all our sins.
Prayer: Glorious God,
Help me to always remember that I am flawed and in need of your grace and mercy every day. Help me to keep my thoughts on your love and my heart pointed toward service to you. Forgive me when I feel better than others and renew in me a humble heart so that I may reach out to all as brothers and sisters.