Good News Only Friday- 03/19/2021

Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the teachers of the religious law (Pharisees) saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to his disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:15-17

This story is nothing short of remarkable. Jesus, the Son of God, chose to eat with tax collectors and sinners. In other words, He chose to eat with the dregs of society. Tax collectors were considered traitors and scum during Biblical times. They were Jews who betrayed their own people by collecting taxes on behalf of the Roman Empire. They each had a yearly quota to pay the Romans. Anything they collected above and beyond that quota was theirs to keep. So you can imagine that they basically extorted their own people in order to become wealthy. This made them outcasts amongst Jewish society, so they spent their time with other outcasts (sinners) such as prostitutes. It’s no surprise, then, that the religious teachers (called Pharisees) were shocked Jesus would eat with this crowd. To share a meal during those days was an act of honor and acceptance. Pharisees would only eat with other Pharisees. Why would Jesus give the time of day to these unclean sinners? His response? “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I’ve not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”BOOM! As someone who has not yet had a perfectly sinless minute let alone a perfectly sinless life, this scripture brings me so much joy. Jesus didn’t come for the so-called righteous, He came for sinners. And since every single person walking this planet is a sinner, He came for us all! If that doesn’t get you fired up, I don’t know what to tell you. If you’ll put your trust in Jesus, He’ll remove your sins from you as far as the east is from the west. God is so good. There’s one more important point to be made here. Jesus wasn’t endorsing the sin. He wasn’t giving them a license to continue living a rotten lifestyle. His message was simple: repent and believe the Gospel. To repent is to CHANGE. He’s saying, I hate your sin but I love you. Change, turn away from your path, and instead put your trust in Me. Believe the good news. The next time you’re beating yourself up over a mistake, I want you to remember this story. Jesus didn’t come for those who think they’re good enough. He came for those who realize they’re sinners and they need a savior. Repent, and believe the Good News. 

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