Journey Through The Bible Hero

FEBRUARY 17, 2021 DEVOTION

Leviticus 4:1 – 5:19, Mark 2:13 – 3:6, Psalm 36:1-12, Proverbs 10:1-2

“That night Levi invited Jesus and His disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. (There were many people of this kind among the crowds that followed Jesus.) But when some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw Him eating with people like that, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does He eat with such scum?’ When Jesus heard this, He told them, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.’” (Mark 2:15-17 NLT)

There are many amazing attributes of the Lord. We can marvel at the fact that He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omni-present (He can be everywhere at the same time). We can comment on the Lord’s justice, holiness, wisdom, knowledge and many other incredible, supernatural attributes. The attribute that amazes me the most, however, is the incredible, unbelievable, supernatural love that the Lord has for everyone – even the vilest of sinners. We read in Psalm 36:5-6, “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens . . . You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.”

The Bible teaches that Jesus loves children. One time some mothers were trying to bring their children to the Lord, so that Jesus could bless them. His disciples were trying to keep the mothers and their children away, because the Lord was so busy and because they deemed the children insignificant. But Jesus said to them in Matthew 19:14-15, “Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. And He put His hands on their heads and blessed them before they left.”

Jesus also cares for His greatest enemies. On the cross the Lord was looking down upon those who had unjustly persecuted Him, mocked Him, tortured Him and crucified Him – and He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Martin Niemoller wrote from Hitler’s prison, “It took me a long time to learn that the Lord is not the enemy of my enemies. He is not even the enemy of His enemies – but He loves and cares for every person.” That’s amazing and unbelievable to me.

It’s equally amazing to me that the Lord loves and cares for the world’s “biggest sinners.” Mark records that Jesus ate with “notorious sinners,” and that there were “many of this kind among the crowds that followed Jesus” (Mark 2:15). When questioned as to why He ate and fellowshipped with such “scum,” Jesus said that He came to call and minister to “sick people” rather than healthy and prideful people who think that they are already good enough for the kingdom of Heaven.

Question – “Which category – sick or healthy – would you consider yourself to be in?” It seems to me from reading this passage that if I deem myself as “healthy” and “already good enough for the kingdom of Heaven,” then the Lord and I are probably not fellowshipping together. It also seems to me from reading this passage it is when I recognize my unhealthiness, much like the people in the crowds that followed after Jesus; I am seeking healing, forgiveness and fellowship from the Lord. Perhaps we all need to re-examine ourselves and our perspective of our “healthiness” – and be reminded that the Lord really loves little children and big sinners and loves to spend time with them.

As you pray today: 1) Pray that the Lord will reveal to you any pride or self-satisfaction within you that would cause you to think that you are healthier or better than others, and repent of any such pride; 2) Pray that you would recognize that there is healing, forgiveness, restoration and health for you and everyone else with the Lord – and pray that the Lord will make you “healthier” today than you were yesterday; and 3) Pray that the Lord will give you a burden for “notorious sinners” – and that He will place such people in your path so that you can love them and minister to them even as He did.