October 7, 2023
Mark 2:17, Berean Standard Bible
“On hearing this, Jesus told them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
The movie “Jesus Revolution” has been released for quite some time now and many Christians have seen it. One of the lines says, “How can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? We can only walk through doors open to us.” And I am in full agreement with this statement and would like to share with you what I believe.
Let’s begin with the story of Zacchaeus in the Bible.
“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’ But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” (Luke 19:1-10, NIV)
Have you read the Word of God with a desire to know the heart of Christ? Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, and if a tax collector could not be a good and righteous person because of the nature of their work, then he was even worse. While ‘All’ the people were judging him and wondering how a teacher could have fellowship with him, Jesus saw the difference that could take place in his life and approached him with love and acceptance. This approach opened the door for conviction, repentance and forgiveness, all of which led to His salvation.
Many who claim they are Christian continuously debate between grace vs. justice and believe they are righteous. Here is a good reminder for everyone, “… There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10, NIV) There is only One who is righteous, and He is both full of grace and also just. Though He has the right to condemn, He prefers mercy for those who are lost and sick, the ones that we call sinners. How is a sinner saved? Before repentance is conviction, and conviction is not something that simply appears after understanding right and wrong. It is the work of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth. We as Christians have been there. We learned that we cannot be righteous through our own work. Without the Spirit giving us discernment of good and evil, we can’t even tell the difference between the two. As a result, how could we expect anyone to be convicted in the absence of the Spirit of God? Remember, we are not called to tell people they are going to hell. We are called to go and bring the good news that is the hope of everlasting life. We are required to be light in the darkness, overcome evil with good, and to keep the two greatest commandments – love God and love the others as ourselves. It means including the unlovable, the broken, the sick, the lost, the undeserving, the sinner, and the wicked. “All” those who have not yet been saved by grace through Christ. Are you willing to choose Jesus’ way?