Not the righteous; but sinners

Mark 2:13-20

Not the righteous; but sinners

th2 Not the righteous; but sinners

Jim Rohn, an inspirational speaker, told his audience about the trajectory that occurs in people’s lives.  This time his story was about the Vice –President of a prestigious company. She is currently pulling down a hefty six-figure salary at the time the story was told, but it was not always like that. She has had a string of promotions behind her, and sure, more to come.  Even though she has never asked anyone for money, her decision came one day from the hind sights of rejection and humiliation by someone who had it. According to Rohn:  “as a housewife, one evening, not many years ago, the young housewife realized she didn’t have enough cash on hand to buy some of the groceries she needed for the rest of the week.”
As a stay-at-home mother and wife, she was entirely dependent upon her husband for income. So, when he arrived home from work that evening, she asked him for an extra 10 dollars.”
Hearing the question and request, he turned to her with visible irritation. He heaved a sigh, rolled his eyes, and tauntingly sneered, “What for?”
“Surprised and shocked, she was stung by the contempt in his voice, and by the humiliation she felt at having to grovel for a measly 10 dollars.”
 At the point she made a decision to turn her life and round and never looked back. 
In the text, “Jesus said to them “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. I do not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.”
The master came for the broke, rich and downtrodden.  His message cut across the social status of his days. Powerful enough to get the attention of the scribes that would make them question if he was really the savior.  He never relegated sinners when he knew who they were. His teaching style was transparent enough for the sinners that came around him. They came not to be humiliated and judged by him, but to have fellowship with him. Reading the text, Today, I wonder the type of message we are sharing that propel sinners running far from our fellowships and churches. I question the message that we share that scares and push sinners away from us. It is not our desire to do a soft teaching that keeps you enjoying your sinful condition without acceptance of truth. But for Jesus message to attract people of that social standing he probably could be teaching what we are not yet teaching. Now, who can be more powerful than Jesus?  Jesus message embraced sinners and tax collectors.  There was no exception. He wasn’t there to be like them because he knew who he was. He was there for a purpose.  I can imagine what the media would have said today if Jesus was parading himself as the righteous one and still having dinner with sinners. Not very good to the church goers, but powerful for the media.  Jesus life in the text highlight some of the key point every believer should embrace.  One of them should be relational skills with people different from us, not judgmental lifestyle patterned by differences.
The scribes, and religious leaders in the text, wouldn’t confront Jesus. They, instead went to his disciples. I can relate to the challenges of confrontation, maybe confrontation was difficult for them, but I would rather speak with the main person than the disciples. Even at their indirect confrontation, Jesus still responded to them in love. 
The text is reflective of the term George Orwell, the author of  “Animal Farm” used when he wrote about media propaganda. He used the concept of  “double think” in 1984.  Eric Arthur Blair was his real name, but for political protection; he used Orwell.  Blair defined “double think” as the reliance on inherently antagonistic thoughts in the construction of one’s ideology.  As a political writer, he considers double think as the attempt to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancels out, knowing it is necessary to forget, than to draw it back into memory at the moment. Double think was often effectively employed when masking out some ambition under the justification of defending something different. The scribes in the text was not after the sinners, but after Jesus, because in previous text, it was easier to notice their antagonistic and self-righteous stand.
Through “reality control” the propaganda of Jesus eating with sinners, was a complete truth, covered with telling carefully constructed lies.  As the text reveals, the attack for Jesus to be judged. It is identical to what we currently experience. Like the corporate media today, there is a need for us to Identify the narrow spectrum. Jesus came for the sinners; not the righteous. The self-righteous were already sinners because we cannot satisfy God on the basis of our works; but on the provision of what he has provided through grace in his son. It is important knowing righteousness is the right standing with God, but the righteousness wasn’t attained by our works; but our reliance on the grace of God in Christ. Everything based on us attaining a relationship with Christ divorced from  Christ puts us in need of him. And it for that reason he came sharing the truth of the kingdom –  he has come for the sinners; not the righteous.  The term “sinners” reminds me of C.S Lewis in “mere Christianity” where he explained that a sinner is an enemy of God that needs to lay down his sword and surrender to him. It was for the purpose of sin which he came.
The central truth of the text is established when we are able to teach and still love people in spite of where they are while at the same time maintaining truth with them. Jesus ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners. He related with the people he came to save.


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