Jesus Hung Out With Tax Collectors and Sinners!

“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?”

Mark 2:15-16/NIV

The focal passage reflects ill-will that the teachers of the law (Pharisees) had towards Jesus. As he was not here to be their earthly king, they quickly rejected Him and worked very hard to thwart His earthly ministry! It is sad to see how self-centered people may become if they do not find their priorities being essential by others. Self-centered people may not focus on their spiritual health, but more on “flesh,” and their primary concern is to meet this need. I have heard that “flesh” spelled backward (minus the “h”) is “self.” If “h” stands for Him (God), and the fleshly motivated person has turned their back on God, their focus will be on “self.” Not a good direction to be facing!

Jesus was not here on earth to win a popularity contest. God understood humanity could not live by the Ten Commandments, and as such, He sent Jesus Christ as a solution! As we turn from our fleshly desires and repent from our sins and profess belief and faith in Jesus Christ, He will become our savior, and we will spend eternity in heaven!

Mark 2:17 (NIV) clearly states the importance of Jesus Christ: “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.” I imagine the law teachers were self-centered with righteous piety, and perhaps their backs were toward God. As Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life, there is no other way to the Father (God) than through Him. It is most unfortunate that the Pharisees could not understand this. As for myself, knowing who I am, if I were around during the time Jesus walked the earth, I am happy to believe He would have wanted to spend time and dine with me!

Self-reflection consideration: If I were around when Jesus Christ walked the earth, would He be dining with me?

Many blessings to you!

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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