Welcome to Christian Charity World as we look at Jesus eating with sinners.
Mark 2 : 15 - 17
15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The Pharisees, being teachers of the law and possessing great knowledge of The Old Testament were always out to try and trip Jesus up. They questioned His authority and weren't convinced that His way was truly the ways of God. When they saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors they saw their opportunity to catch him out again.
“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
But Jesus had His answer, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus didn't want to spend his time with those who thought themselves righteous, instead he wanted to be amongst those who knew they were sinners. Through His teachings he could show them the door to salvation.
And I praise the Lord for that. Why? Because I too am a sinner, in thought, word and deed. No matter how righteous and holy I attempt to be, I mess up. I don't mean to but my thoughts lead astray, foul emmissions seep from my mouth and I inadvertently hurt people along the way. I make bad decisions, don't listen to what God is telling me (mind you that might be that I'm a thick so and so and don't recognise God's voice when He is talking to me) and generally offend Him.
Yet Jesus still wants to be with me. He wants to be in my heart, He wants a relationship with me.
I remember the vicar at my church once saying that we come to church because we are BAD, so that we can seek God's forgiveness.
If Jesus eating with sinners and other repribates is acceptable in the eyes of God then perhaps we need to do the same as, lets face it, we're trying to live our lives as close to the path of Jesus Christ as our abilities and personalities allow. And our every day working lives blends us in with a mixture of sinners great and small. When our hearts are filled with the Holy Spirit, with love overflowing, we stand out from the crowd. We are recognised as being different. This gives us tremendous opportunities to evangelise, not necessarily by what we say, but by what we do and how we behave. When all around us are swearing, cracking adult jokes or acting aggressively, Jesus stands out in us by being peaceful, calm, compassionate and full of love. We can be like Jesus eating with sinners too.