God’s Revolution and Reign
Mark 2:16-17, 21-22; Luke 5:36-39
Let’s hear God’s word:
“When the scribes of the Pharisees saw Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners, they said to his disciples: ‘Why is he eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?’ ”
“Sinners” was a catchall term for all Jews who didn’t follow the dictates of the scribes of the Pharisees. The tax collectors were lumped in with these other “sinners” for reasons we’ve mentioned – they were seen as traitorous thieves who did the pagan’s bidding.
Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees had not fared well in direct debate with Jesus. So, here, their attack is indirect. They try to stump his disciples. They didn’t want their “gotcha questions” to trigger any more “gotcha answers”.
Of course, theirs wasn’t a question; it was yet another accusation meant to entrap Jesus. But, they were more insistent on being right than sure they were right. The self-righteous don’t really believe they’re righteous. And, although they’re blessed with an uneasy suspicion of their unrighteousness, they nonetheless suppress it and insist on their righteousness. So, they do all of this with such little tactical caution, that their malicious maneuver malfunctions.
“Jesus overheard them. And he said to them, ‘People who are healthy don’t need a physician; the unhealthy need a physician. I have come to call sinners, not those who’re well.’ ”
Foiled again! Still, at God’s deeper level of mercy, they were given yet another opportunity to find the truth even in the foiling.
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