And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." – Mark 2.16-17
A lot of religious people love nothing more than to look for reasons to be critical of others, especially those who don’t do things the way they do or who pose a threat to their religiosity.
Levi (Matthew) was a tax collector who had just been saved. When Jesus went to his house for dinner a bunch of ‘tax collectors and sinners’ came to dinner as well.
Remember, these ‘tax collectors and sinners’ were not nice people. These were the people that all the religious people loved to hate. I don’t know if the religious guys were not a little of jealous of Jesus going to dinner there, but they chose to be critical of Him anyway. They asked the disciples ‘Why does He eat and drink with those people?’
I wonder if they were embarrassed when He heard them and answered the question Himself. ‘Those who are well don’t need a doctor. Those who are sick need the doctor.’
Jesus’ point was clear. He was going to spend time with those who needed Him and most and realised that they needed Him. He was not going to be put off from serving those who others considered the ‘wrong kind of people.’
We need to be careful that we don’t separate ourselves from the world so much that we miss the people in it. We need to be the ones who a reaching out to those who ‘need the doctor.’ We can get caught up trying to minister to a certain level of ‘acceptable’ people and turn aside from ‘those kind of people.’
A friend told me here once that if we wanted to reach the real people of Ireland we were going to need to be willing to ‘get our hands dirty.’ We need to be sure that we reach out to the less than lovely in the worlds eyes because apparently these people were worth Jesus time and worth the criticism He knew He would receive.
Let’s be sure that while we reach out we extend our hands to those who ‘need the doctor.’