On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17
Jesus draws a crowd. He’s walking along the lake, and people flock to him. Walking along and teaching, he comes to a tax collector booth. The tax collectors work for the occupying Roman Empire. Most Jews despise them. The crowd may have wondered if Jesus would confront the tax collector, setting him straight. Or maybe Jesus would stare him down, walking by silently. What Jesus actually did would’ve been shocking and unprecedented. He asks the tax collector to follow him. Instead of condemnation, there is an invitation. Instead of rejection, there is a welcome.
It’s easy to ignore the impact of this story because we’re familiar with and distant from it. We’ve lost the emotion and tension of the scene. We give ourselves permission to view it as something more routine. We don’t let it challenge us or impact how we think, act and speak. But the truth is this story speaks to God’s posture toward sinners, the forgiveness Jesus offers, and what it looks like to follow Jesus. This week, we’ll look at those elements and see how they apply to our lives today.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Memorize Mark 2:17. This verse reminds us of the good news of Jesus. Jesus wants a relationship with the written off or rejected. Whether you feel like that’s you or maybe you are the one to write people off—this verse reminds us of the heart of Jesus.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
May is SECRECY. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.