When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:17

I have wondered if I had lived during Jesus’ time (and if I would have been Jewish), would I have been a Pharisee? Would I have leaned on the law as insurance of my divine fate without understanding the intention behind the law? The love behind the law?

Would I have thought I was good enough to get to heaven because of the stuff I had done?

We all like to believe we are good people. Thinking about how we’re sinners isn’t much fun. But Jesus said he came to call not the healthy but the sick—not the righteous, but the sinners.

He came to call those who knew they couldn’t be good enough.

Dear Lord, keep us from relying on ourselves to conquer our sin issues. Remind us that we need you as our spiritual doctor. And let us spread the good news to sinners everywhere. In Jesus’s name, amen.


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