Morning Devotion 006: A Bad Crowd

 


“Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” [Luke 29-32]

Jesus went to wild parties.

His motive, however, was likely much different the that of the other revelers.

It’s good to understand initially who the Pharisees were. They were those who had cleaned themselves up so well on the outside that they could no longer see their filth.

And what’s wrong with that? Don’t we do the same thing?

Don’t we all take showers, wear our prettiest clothes and smile nicely for those we wish to impress? Shouldn’t they be respected for making the effort to be presentable?

Isn’t our hope in life to put on a good enough appearance for social propriety so that people won’t be disgusted by seeing how ugly we are when we’re all alone? Aren’t we generally careful with what we communicate to others in hopes that they would not be turned off by all of the raw, bothersome thoughts and behaviors that perpetually occupy our lives?

For sure, but Jesus did not come to be impressed by people’s outward appearance. He already knew the inside, and any effort to dress up the immediately visible was probably insulting to him.

As Savior, he is very drawn to those helplessly swimming in sin.

It tends to be those people, especially when God gives them eyes to see their current condition, that are more prone to fall at His feet broken, feeling completely helpless before Him.

We get mixed up and think that the whole goal is to craft out our own righteousness so as to be acceptable to Him. For sure, He desires our holiness, but not as a method of earning His love, but as a reponse to it.

Jesus hung out with those who were dirty on the inside and out in hopes that, after meeting Him, they would turn from their ways and serve Him with the passion with which they used to serve their sin.

God’s desire is to be glorified and, as the Great Physician, of what help will He be to those who would rather mask symtoms in an effort to convince themselves and others that they are not even sick?

Let’s get this one thing straight. ”There is no one righteous, not even one”, as the Scriptures say.

That includes you. And me.

We are, in fact, sinners. Jesus can work with that.

He loves to save. Don’t be dismayed if you’re sinking.

That’s when Saviors do some of their best work.

2011, Chris Quimby

 

 
 
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