Mark 2:15-17

Throughout the season of Lent our daily devotions have been written by members of the Faith Lutheran community. Our theme this Lent is “Jesus Our Healer.” Today’s devotion comes from Melinda McGouldnick.

And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Mark 2:15-17

Jesus outrages His critics by calling Levi (aka Matthew) the tax collector, to follow Him, then eats with a houseful of equally “defiled” people . Entering a Gentile’s house brought uncleanliness to a Jewish person, which made it impossible for that person to participate in the Passover.

Jesus was showing by example that there was to be a new standard of holiness based on faithfulness and mercy rather than ceremonial law. He did this to prepare the way for people of all nations to enter God’s kingdom. This story invites you to consider “Am I more like the ‘sinners’ of this story or like those who criticize Jesus’ openness to be with the unworthy?”

Either way, you have something to reconsider as we seek to learn by Jesus’ example. Thankfully, Jesus brings healing and forgiveness to all, even sinners and the judgmental.

Let us pray: Lord, help me to refrain from passing judgment and to be open to and accepting to the possibility of the power of grace for all. Amen

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One Response to “Mark 2:15-17”

  1. Carolee Groux Says:

    In this parable Jesus shows by example that goodness is based on faithfulness and mercy, not on the laws of the scribes and pharisees. In this lesson we learn that we must refrain from passing judgement on those who are of different opinions and beliefs.

    Matthew 9:12 “But when Jesus heard that, he said to them, they that be whole don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do.”

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