Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32 (NIV)
Jesus finds a once greedy tax collector sitting at his booth. Jesus calls the man. The man leaves his shady business and his former life, he begins to follow Jesus. In celebration for finding hope, this man Levi invites all his family and friends to a banquet with Jesus and His Disciples. But men of darker vision find fault with them. Worldly-minded people would not accept that Jesus and His followers were found in the company of sinners. How could Jesus even be at a party with a crowd of people who stood so far out of the accepted religious community? How could Jesus spend His time with people who did not spend their time being perfect?
Do we think that the Pharisees and teachers of the law had forgotten where we all stand? Have we all fallen short of God´s expectations for us? Is this why a Savior was needed to be sent into the world? Was this why Jesus was here amongst us? Has He come to us to make a Way for all of us to return to God in Heaven? Is it the work of Jesus that restores us to our Father? Is it His testimony, His teaching and His sacrifice that atone for mankind´s separation from the will of God? If He was sent to help us, then to who was He sent? Is He here to speak to the hearts who know they need Him? Or should He go to those who already think they got it all covered? Is our Great Physician sent to those who need Him? Or is He sent to work with, commune with and heal those who will refuse to admit that they need help?
Levi gathered people together who knew they were less than perfect in God´s eyes. Did the Pharisees want to see their own need for God? Could they accept they needed to be healed from the disease we were born under? Did they realize that our Father in Heaven has worked throughout the ages to bring honest souls into His arms? Did they know that we all can be restored? Did they know that to be healed and made clean enough to be in His Presence, we need some rectification to be made in our attitude? Did they know that if left to ourselves, we do not look for the Lord? Did they realize that their prayers, their worship, and their traditions were superficial? Did they even suspect that even though they felt better by doing all these things, God was still there waiting for them to receive Him in their hearts? Did they ever think that they needed to turn from their self-sufficiency and lean upon Him? Did they fail to see their need to be healed?
What about us? Where do we stand? Can we see the distance between us and our Heavenly Father? Do we realize that He would heal us too? Do we know that for restoration into His great heart, we will need to turn to Him? Can we see where healing would help us? Do we know we need a doctor? Has Jesus come to be with us? Has He called us today? Are we looking for Him to heal us? Or are we too good to know our illness and separation from God? Would we miss His call by not needing Him too?
Dear Jesus, let us hear Your call today. Please do not feel like You must seek out others who are more receptive to You. Let us be painfully aware of our sinful condition. Impress upon us where we have let our spiritual health and our closeness to God deteriorate. We invite You into our company. Be with us! We are the ones who know we need a doctor. Come, heal us today!