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.”
When Matthew answered Jesus’ call to follow Him, the former tax collector couldn’t contain the news. He held a dinner in honor of Jesus and invited his friends — other tax collectors and sinners. The room was filled with the spiritually sick who needed the Great Physician.
The Pharisees didn’t get it. They could not understand how anyone would choose to be in the same room with such people. Jesus must have known, they reasoned, that those around the dinner table were thieves, traitors, extortionists. How could Jesus stoop so low to sit at a table with them, to share a meal with them?
Jesus came for people who realize their sin-infected heart is in need of a remedy. He came for those longing for spiritual healing. Pride can blind our eyes from seeing our need. Understanding our spiritual sickness humbly leads us to Jesus. Have you met the Great Physician? If not, make the following prayer your own.
Lord Jesus, I am spiritually sick in need of a doctor, a sinner in need of a Savior. I need Your touch, Your remedy and Your healing. Please open my heart. Please forgive my sins. Please restore my spiritual health. Please make me whole again. I pray in Your name. Amen.
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