Not Too Good for Mercy

 Mark 2:15-17

 He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him.   The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”  When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”


 

Jesus doesn’t save the righteous.  He cannot save the already righteous.  The righteous (or self- righteous) will never come to the place of poorness of spirit, the place of neediness for Jesus.  The righteous will attempt to earn Jesus.  Jesus will be to them an ornament or decoration to highlight their own goodness, strength, and likeability.  The righteous may approach Jesus, with some need, they will realize their need to a degree, however not to the needed degree.  The righteous (or self-righteous) do not come to love the mercy, meekness, gentleness, graciousness, of God. These seemingly passive attributes of God are much too weak and lowly for them.  Self-righteousness would rather have a God who requires more from themselves and others, a God who requires an obedience which self-righteousness attains to, a God who requires strength which self-righteousness attains to, a God who requires a faith and knowledge which self-righteousness attains to.  Most like a God who is more like themselves.  A God who loves the successful, the strong, the intelligent, those with likeable personalities, those who are able to become impressive people.

God however loves the weak, the needy, the afflicted and oppressed.  He loves and saves (or is saving) those who come to see themselves as weak, needy, and poor, those who become afflicted and oppressed.  They need Jesus, they need Him so much more than others seem to.  Jesus becomes their need, their love that dwarfs all others.  The reality of this need brings them to a place of more carelessness about the world’s judgment of them.  They are growing more to care less and less whether the world accepts of rejects them, they are coming to know a another world, kingdom, and Lover so much greater than what this world can give them.

They see their sin, they are coming to realize more and more, their sin is not going to completely go away in this natural life.  They are learning more and more, the mercy and graciousness of God.  He has and gives super-abounding mercy, grace, and love which covers their remaining sin and disobedience.  They are becoming more and more lovers of God (Father, Son, Spirit), lovers of His mercy, His graciousness, His love, His righteousness which covers a multitude of sins.

They become lovers of mercy, gentleness, graciousness, and kindness.  Those things many people of this world see as weak and passive things.  Those things rejected and devalued by the strong, the rich, the successful and impressive of this world.  Loving these fruits of the Spirit of Christ, they are loving Christ, loving Jesus.  They are allowing Jesus to become more manifest from within them.  Though they will not be applauded or loved by this world, as Jesus Himself was not applauded or loved by most the citizens of this world.  They will continue to seek their need and try to pass this need on to others.  Their only hope is that God (Father, Son, Spirit) Himself will open the eyes, ears, minds, and hearts of others to accept this message.  This message is not an appealing message to those of this world.  This message is foolishness to this world, those rejecting Jesus, and choosing rather to be blinded and bound further by their enemy.

Those of us who have come to know our great need, and our continuing great need, need not be ashamed.  We are not required to compromise our seeking and finding or realizing of more mercy, grace and love in Jesus.  We are not required by anyone besides ourselves to seek acceptance and approval from this world.  If we seem to be required by others to do so, we have a God, a Savior, a Lord and Lover, who is to receive our love, devotion, and obedience.  Seek Him, Know Him, Love Him.  Seek the One who loves, cherishes and frees us, not those who condemn and trouble us.   Seeking friendship and acceptance with this world, which is under the enemies rule,  is a ludicrous thing for us to do.  Yet we all do it, to one degree or another.  Jesus is our great Redeemer, Deliverer, and Lover.  Seek Him.

Paul M.