Scripture: Mark 2:13-22
Key verse: (15) 15And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples — for there were many who followed him. 16When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17When 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: If we take Jesus’ words seriously, we have to take a hard look at ourselves. If we called by Jesus to follow him, then who are we in this story?
Maybe we are the scribes or the Pharisees—the followers of the letter of the law, and religious officials. As a professional church person, I am always afraid of becoming one of those kinds of religious leaders. They don’t come off looking too good here. They are pretty whiny about how Jesus chooses his companions, and are a bit self-righteous.
Or maybe we are the tax collectors and sinners—the ones whom Jesus said he had come to call. Maybe we are those who sorely need to hear the good news of forgiveness of sins, and of grace. Jesus invites us over and over again to his table to remind us of it.
Or maybe we are the disciples—the ones who host the gatherings with Jesus that are so surprising and transformative. If we think about it that way, it is not really up to us who Jesus chooses to call. It is up to him. Our job as followers is to open the door, spread food on the table, and invite in everyone—especially those who seem to be most in need. And to always know that our seat at the table is only because we sinners first were called to come and follow ourselves. Thanks be to God.
Prayer: Lord, you welcome in those who need to know you. You change lives. You call us to follow you, which maybe means to do the same inviting work. Help me follow, even when I don’t know how. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[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].