Scripture: Mark 2: 13-22
Key verses: (15-17) And as he sat at dinner[b] in Levi’s[c] house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting[d] with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. 16 When the scribes of[e] the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat[f] with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
Reflection: Once again, our text invites us to gather around an ordinary table with ordinary people.These are the people who followed Jesus, so why are we surprised that he is having a meal with “those people?” I am not sure we would be as infuriated as the scribes but we would point out the “otherness” from us. We do not want to see ourselves in the same category as sinners. Maybe we see ourselves as people who just sin occasionally?
Jesus doesn’t see Levi for his sinfulness or even as a member of a disreputable profession. He sees him as a human being. Jesus looks at this man and sees a child of God with gifts, potential, wounds, and sin. Regardless, he issues a clear and undeniable call. The only thing Levi could do was respond.
The call of Jesus cuts right through all normal expectations and demands a response. The call is strong and challenging but also deeply humbling. Jesus seeks no place of honor drawn from the quality of his disciples and friends. Jesus is entirely concerned for Levi and for you. A sinner.
Prayer: Broken, flawed, human, I come to you, God. Be near me today and always. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].