Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Well Do Not Need a Doctor

Luke 5:31-32

31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

RayBlogLike many men I know – I don’t like going to the doctors.  I recently went to the dentist for a cleaning and didn’t like it one bit – even with a great report!  Many men I know would need to be on death’s door to go to the doctor and even then someone would have to carry them into the office.  It’s not that we don’t think we can get sick or need a doctor – we’re tough on the outside but scared to death that the doctor might hurt us or worse yet – find something to scare us!  We might really be sick after all!

Remember the last time you went to the doctor’s office?  Maybe you had the flu – which has been going around this winter.  Did you notice that there were a number of sick people in the office waiting room?  Some were really sick and some seemed mildly sick and some should have been at the emergency room rather than the doctor’s office – but the key was they were all sick (unless they were there with someone who was sick).

Remember the last time you went to church?  The last time you gathered with others to publically worship God (it could have been in a church or it could have been anywhere)?  Did you have the feeling that you were in a hospital for sinners or did you feel like you were in a place for the saints?  Be honest!  Too many people – I fear – think of church as a place for the saints to gather rather than a place for the sick – the sinners – to gather to find grace and strength from Jesus.  Remember some come to church to seek His face and desire His grace rather than to merely meet.

Jesus was often criticized for eating with sinners – for gathering with those that society thought were really bad as opposed to the slightly bad.  Today’s passage is from one of those encounters.  Here it is in partial context.  Luke 5:27-32 – 27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. 29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Now don’t get Jesus wrong here.  Jesus wasn’t saying the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were not sick or were not in need of a doctor – because they were sick and needed Jesus.  But they didn’t see their sickness and didn’t have a heart to be healed or to reach out to others who were sick.  I believe this is like some who attend church every week and even read the Bible regularly and believe that they are well.  They must not have believed what Paul wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in one of his Epistles – Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Let’s take another view this morning.  How do you believe the sick (the sinners) feel when they come to church seeking healing only to have folks stare at them or treat them like they have leprosy or something?  In some churches this may well be how some feel.  How do they feel when they enter the church we attend?  Just a thought!

Join with me if you would as we enter March and march toward Easter.  Join me in welcoming every single person who enters our churches between now and Easter.  Go a step further and purposefully greet them and even sit with them (I say even sit with them because I know we all have assigned seats in church and they might not pick our row to sit – lol).  For the really bold – how about going outside the doors of the sanctuary and inviting folks from the community to join you and even make church where you find them.  Isn’t that what Jesus did as he met with Matthew (Levi) and his friends?  The well do not need a doctor but since we are all sick and sinners we all need Jesus.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 1, 2013 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Theology | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] The Well Do Not Need a Doctor (raymcdonald.wordpress.com) […]

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