Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” Luke 5:31-32 NABRE
Luke is telling the story of the calling of Levi a tax collector as a disciple of Jesus. Jesus calls him and he leaves everything and follows Jesus. Levi (we may also know him as Matthew, one of Jesus’ apostles) is from the community, but an agent who collects taxes for Herod, ruler of Galilee, a client state of the Roman Empire. Tax collectors were seen as sinners for working with the occupiers and were also seen as greedy opportunists because they would over tax the people to have a little extra for themselves. For the most part a holy Jew would not associated with a tax collector and as we can read in Luke’s account anyone who does is seen as a sinner as well. After Jesus calls Levi he holds a banquet, inviting Jesus and many other sinners. Of course Jesus’ presence, a Rabbi gaining followers, is seen as controversial and the religious leaders are sure to point this out. Jesus hearing their criticism compares Himself to a physician, implying sin is the real illness and tax collectors and sinners are in need of healing not condemnation and cancelation. Jesus implies those who do not sin are healthy and those that do sin need only repent and they can be healthy again.
Jesus implies there are healthy people, even though we may judge many as having a selfish nature that leads us to sin. Jesus’ message of repentance is important as it names sin and makes it something “seen” and not so scary. Secrets lead to shame which allows sin to take hold. As people trying to heal we keep to many things hidden, taboo things, giving them power and drawing us toward sin.
What secrets do you have? If your secret is revealed how will you feel?Jesus' message of repentance is important as it names sin and makes it something 'seen' and not so scary. Secrets lead to shame which allows sin to take hold. Click To Tweet
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