“10 And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Have you ever been to a gay pride parade? I did a few many years back in Chicago. To me it was like a freak show where everyone was trying desperately to go over the top. I thought it was weird, hedonistic, debauched, and I felt way out of place. Just to get it out there before the intolerant homophobe projectile vomiting starts, I would have felt the same at a heterosexual pride parade with the same level of over the top hedonism and debauchery. No, I’m not a prude – I’m male and I think like one for better or worse. My mind is not pure by any stretch of the imagination, and I have my history which is different than who I am today. I’ve seen and done a lot that I’m ashamed of. I’m just broken and in desperate need of His healing power. So’s the rest of the world – the center as well as the fringes.
So what’s the point? Christ went to the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the broken, the marginalized – the fringes of society – with a message of hope and salvation. Did they know they were broken? Did they know where they stood in God’s eyes? Did they care? How about the Pharisees? Did they know?
Which part of the story’s characters do you align with? Do you need a physician?
“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” is a call to all. It’s not about what you or I do to show obedience to rituals, it’s about obedience to Christ and His teachings. Let us be discerning and actively engaged in doing the work He directs us to, being available for Him, open to Him and His plan, as His foot soldier.
We live in a broken world, and He didn’t come to heal the healthy.