Mark 2:16, 17 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
There is a lot of conversation going on in our country these days about health care. There is no shortage of opinions. There is no shortage of confusion. There are so many diseases and illnesses that rack our bodies and minds, with little or no help to be found. I thank God for doctors and dentists and specialists and health care providers. But at the end of the day, the greatest need for every single person on planet earth is a physician who can heal our sick and diseased souls. And that is what we come face to face with in our study this morning. The doors of the synagogue are rapidly closing on Jesus because of His message and life-transforming miracles that met the ire of the orthodox community.
Thus far, Jesus has recruited four fishermen, and today He is going to enlist a tax collector to His staff. Levi (or Matthew) leaves everything to follow Jesus. He has a banquet for Him and His disciples at his house. Levi invites all of his unsaved friends to the dinner (Mark 2:14,15). To sit down and eat with a person in that culture meant that you became one with them. You identified with them. The scribes were blown away that Jesus would have anything to do with these kinds of people. But Jesus, The Great Physician, said, Who goes to the doctor for a cure? Those who are well or those who are sick? I have not come to call the ‘righteous,’ but to call those who are sinners and bring them to repentance.
And what is repentance? It is turning away from a life of sin to God, and from a life of serving self to a life of selfless serving and intimacy with Jesus. It is a radical change of thinking and living by the indwelling Holy Spirit Who enables us to live out the life of Jesus in a sin-sick world that desperately needs to hear about and encounter The Great Physician.