Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jesus and His Friends

Mark 2:15-17
"Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum." When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor- sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous but those who know they are sinners."

People with messed up lives find a great friend in Jesus. People described as tax collectors, disreputable sinners, scum, sick sinners. What is profound and amazing to me about this story is not so much that it happened, but that it still happens. Stagnant churches often attract those with lives that seem together. Authentic followers of Christ still attract those with messy lives. While reading this passage today I was deeply challenged to look deep within my heart and ask the question, "Am I more like the Pharisees or Jesus." I love the phrase that says, "there were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers" I wonder if the same could be said of those who I spend time with? Who is drawn to you, who are you drawn to? The final challenge for me was with Jesus statement, "i have come to call those who know they are sinners." When I look at the goodness of God and i see myself in light of his kindness and character, i then should be led to a heart of gratitude. Gratitude that acknowledges my need for Christ and a proper view of others.