Matthew 9:9-13 / Mark 2:13-17 / Luke 5:27-32
Scumbags and sickos…
Jesus calls people who others think He has no right to. But the Great Physician knows those who know they are sick. Those who think they are well, without any need of a remedy, or without any ongoing, managed care, these are those who scoff at the services of the Divine Doctor. They don’t think they need Him, and they don’t like who He helps and heals, and who He hangs out with (1 Corinthians 4:11-13). These types need to learn a lesson (Hosea 6:6). Jesus answered their question of “why would you?” with “why wouldn’t you?”
The tax collectors were treated like traitors, but all who are not with Christ are traitors to God. A doctor doesn’t come to call on your home and berate you for being sick; he prescribes a course of action to get well. There are sick people everywhere, and they are more than sick, they are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-3). Anywhere and everywhere is where the devil has his children, and anywhere and everywhere is where the battle rages, and so anywhere and everywhere is where we need ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20-21). The gospel is for all nations, tribes, and tongues (Matthew 28:19-20 / Acts 1:8 / Revelation 7:9), for all people groups, social groups, genders, and ages (Acts 2:17-18 / 1 Timothy 2:1-4), but most of the time it comes to those who aren’t regarded well by the world (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
The modern cliché is that a church is not a showcase for saints, but a hospital for sinners. That is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. The truth is that yes, the church is a hospital for sinners, but it is for those who know they are sinners. Those who come to a hospital are not there to stay sick, but to get well. Those that seem to want to stay sick are perhaps those who think that they are already well, just by virtue of being at the hospital. The church is a hospital, but it is also to be a holy habitation, a place for those who have gotten well, and these also know they need to provide hospice care for one another while we are on the way to heaven.