The Physician

Note: If you want to follow along reading the whole New Testament this year, read Mark 2 today!

“He/She is a lost cause!”  “They are too far gone!” Have you ever thought like that about someone?  Or maybe, you’ve had a thought like that about yourself?

Read this passage from Mark 2 and we’ll take a look at what Jesus has to say about the “lost causes” among us.

[13] He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. [14] And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

[15] And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. [16] And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” [17] And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

-Mark 2:13-17 ESV

In Jesus day, tax collectors were some of the most hated people. They were famous for being dishonest and greedy.  Jesus walks by and says, “Follow me” to one of these “too far gone” people.

When the religious big shots (the Pharisees) see Jesus hanging out with “tax collectors and sinners” they start murmuring amount themselves.  Of course, according to Romans 3, hanging out with the Pharisees was hanging out with sinners too, but they weren’t willing to admit that.

Jesus’ reply is what spoke to me this morning. He says, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

That’s us!  And everyone you know. We’re sick.  Sicker than we know.  And he came, not just to forgive us and feel sorry for us, but to call us!  He came to say, “Follow me.”  Not healthy enough spiritually to follow Jesus?  That’s like saying you’re too sick to call the doctor.  He came for sinners, and calls us to himself.

One of my heroes says it like this:

He came to give health and cure to the dying, to heal the broken hearted, and to offer strength to the weak. No sin-sick soul is too far gone for Him. It is His glory to heal and restore to life the most desperate cases. For unfailing skill, for unwearied tenderness, for long experience of man’s spiritual ailments, the great Physician of souls stands alone. There is none like Him.

– J. C. Ryle

There is none like him! Worthy of the investment of our whole lives.

God bless!

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