As you prepare to read the Bible now, pray that God will help you to glimpse something new of Jesus.
Read Mark 2:13-17
 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.  As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.  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.  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?”  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.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did Jesus teach about his mission and ministry here?
I love the image of Jesus walking and teaching followed by a ragtag crowd of colorful characters. These outcasts were used to seeing rabbis walking along with their disciples, eating together, sharing life and learning the ways of God. This certainly didn’t include them. Until now! Jesus’ deliverance was profoundly practical: he included the excluded, he touched the leper, he ate with the prostitute, he called the fraudulent official to be his disciple (14). This unexpected deliverance actually offended those who were most eagerly looking for God to move. The Pharisees were horrified because for them God was detached from the dust and sweat of this world, accessed only by extensive purity rituals. But Jesus bears good news: God isn’t detached, he is involved. He doesn’t require human effort, simply humble acknowledgement of our need of him. Throughout Scripture, God repeatedly condemns the proud. Jesus’ disciples are called to surrender all pride to him and relax in his love and grace. He calls us to be like him in befriending the outcast in whatever setting he has placed us.
Is there pride of which you should repent? Is there an “outcast” you can befriend in Jesus’ name?
Lord Jesus, I thank You for the invitation to be Your disciple. Show me each day how to follow You more completely.
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