But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw Jesus 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" (Mark 2:16-17).
This story has always amazed me. Jesus is being criticized by the religious leaders for hanging out with the sinners, or as they called them, the "scum." Jesus heard their complaints and responded by reminding them of his mission, not to help those who think they have their act together, but those who don't.
There was a time in my life when I thought I had my life all put together. Since I didn't feel like a sinner, why would Jesus want to meet with me? Then, as the years have passed, and seasons of brokenness, I have come realize that I am a sinner, saved by grace. While I have my good moments, I know that I don't always trust God like I should. I know God has claimed me as his child, but I still slip into thoughts and actions not fitting for a child of God.
The Lord wants to remind you and me that we are both "saints" and "sinners" all at the same time. We want to trust in Jesus, but like barnacles on the bottom of a ship, sin keeps trying to attach to us and drag us down. That's why each and every one of us need Jesus--his forgiveness, his healing, his strength, his guidance.
We have a new kitten in our house. Most of the time he is good. But sometimes he gets too full of himself, and thinks he can take over as 'the big cat on campus.' Our much older, wiser and much bigger cat simply swats at him with his big brown paw, and suddenly the kitten remembers his place.
In this story Jesus took a gentle "swat" at the religious leaders to remind them that no matter who we think we are, each and every one of us needs the mercy of God through Jesus. We are all sick, needing the Healer. We each are sinners in need of God's grace.
Take a moment to humble yourself and confess to the Lord how much you need his help and forgiveness today. Come join the rest of us sinners and meet Jesus this weekend at worship!
That's it. I'll add nothing to it nor expound upon it in any way. As I said before, take it or leave it as you choose.