Devotional Thoughts from Mark 2:13-17

Mark 2:13-17

13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them.
14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
15 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.
16 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?”
17 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.”

Is Jesus teaching here that there are some who are righteous and and others who are sinners living on this earth, and that He is calling only those who are sinners to Himself? We know from the rest of scripture that this can not be true. For example, Romans 3:10-12 says, “As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.'”

Jesus here is making the point that He is calling to Himself those who are aware of their sin and their need for a savior. The scribes and Pharisees, though they were sinners just like the rest, thought of themselves as righteous and, as a result, saw no need for Jesus as Savior.

If we are to come to Christ and remain in Him we must acknowledge our deep need for Him. As we do ministry we must proclaim the Gospel and understand that it is those, who under the conviction of the Holy Spirit are made aware of their deep need, that will come to Christ. The self-righteous, are in some ways, furthest from the Kingdom. Christ is able to cover the worst of sins but only if the need for a Savior is acknowledged and trust is placed in the person of Jesus Christ.

Let us not fall in to the error of the scribes and Pharisees, thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought and thinking that some, because of their sin, are out of reach of the grace of God.

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"Him we proclaim,
warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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