As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 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 12:13-17
By the lake. At the booth. While eating dinner. Jesus is never off duty. He never forgets his mission. And it’s not just a MISSION … it is His heart.
Yesterday I wrote about Brother Sean and his work among the hurting and hopeless of our world. Today he experienced a dream by meeting one of his heroes in New Orleans. For most of us that would have been the day. But not Sean. When I talked to him this afternoon he was in Jackson Square talking to tarot readers. He had witnessed some nice ‘christian’ person telling one of the tarot readers that they were not Christians. Is that our message to the world? We’re it and you’re not! I’ve heard too much of that kind of Christian communication. It re-writes Jesus’ mission statement to say, “It is the healthy who need my assurance, the sick need not bother.”
When Sean was finishing his conversation with the woman I heard him say, “The Christ in me sees the Christ in you. I love you and you matter to me.” What a contrast.
Don’t you want to be that guy? Don’t you want to be the one who takes a minute to look another human being in the eye and tell them that they matter? How many of us long to have someone tell us that now?
If it is the sick who need the doctor… where are they?
If the church is a hospital for the sick, doesn’t it seem like the biggest feature is the cafeteria? If the church is a hospital for the sick, does it remind us of the literal Emergency Rooms where you can sit for hours without medical care?
I just wonder if the sick have any place in our lives? Jesus found them along a lake, at a booth, eating dinner … where are we finding them? I think it’s great to GO places where hurting people are. I’m not sure we have to go anywhere. Have you taken a look around lately? Within reach are the depressed, divorced, displaced, discouraged, drugged, dumped, dismissed and damned.
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
The sick need a doctor. No, not you … the Christ in you. Do any of us think we’ll be excused for hanging out the cafeteria while in the emergency room they wait for someone to care?
By the lake. at the booth. While eating dinner. Keep your eyes open.
Your thoughts welcomed.
Thanks for reading.