The girls stood in a group and laughed loudly. They pointed and stared at the poor girl on the outside of their circle. It wasn’t anything new for this poor left out girl. She was used to it. She didn’t seem to fit in with anyone. She was a smart, lanky but yet dorky looking. Her body was still in the midst of changing and she felt clumsy, ugly and lonely. She always felt left out and misunderstood. She knew these girls would like her if they just gave her a chance.
This is a typical middle school/high school scene. Kids can be brutal to each other. Yet so can adults. Even though this scene can easily happen at a school, it can also happen as adults gather together. Someone always seems to be left out. The “popular” group seems to find a way to make someone feel insignificant. It is easy to point out other’s faults and to push them away from your group because they appear different.
Jesus tells us today that He wants all of us to be included in His group.
Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
Jesus saw that Levi was left out because of his profession. People could easily point at Levi as being the evil one. I mean everyone knew that tax collectors were cheats and scam artist. Who wants to associate with those people? The Pharisees were the first to point this out. The Pharisees were the leaders of the church, and they needed to warn their people not to associate with “those people.”
Imagine the Pharisees, all in a group discussing the outsiders. Picture that school scene above. What does Jesus do? He goes over to the tax collectors and calls them to follow Him. He celebrates with them, and welcomes them.
Then he adds the best line ever, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but the sinners.”
Face it we all need the physician, Jesus Christ, in our life. I don’t care how many times we go to church, bible study or pray during the day – we all need healing. We are all in the same clique called “the sinners.” We shouldn’t be excluding anyone because we are all in the same boat. We all feel insignificant, lonely and clumsy at times.
Today, reach out to that inner part of you that you hide deep down. Reach out to that vulnerable part of your soul, and try to relate to someone who is an outsider today. Jesus did and because of that he healed a nation of sinners.