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What if Jesus Facebooked? (Part 2)

October 14, 2009

If you want to brush up on the text from Sunday’s sermon, here it is Mark 2:13-17

After reading Mark 2:13-17, I can’t help but wonder how the story of Jesus eating with sinners looks like today on October 14th, 2009. For starters, asking what kind of “sinners” Jesus was spending time with is, by extension, a question about what sorts of people Jesus would be spending time with if He were walking the earth right now. Strippers? Drug addicts? Thieves? CEOs? Politicians? Your enemy?

Are the sinners Jesus hung around in Mark 2 really the sort of people Jesus would be spending time with today? Maybe a better question would be, Is the Jesus you have come to love the same Jesus who was hanging around sinners throughout the gospels, or have you turned Him into something different?

Jesus’ eating with unpopular and ritually impure people is treated as a sign of His mission to overturn traditional social and religious assumptions. When can you retrieve a fresh memory when the church emulated behavior like this? How often do Christians (Christ-followers) try to actively minister to racists, child molesters, or even to widows and orphans? Some do, certainly, but in most cases if I was caught bar hopping for Jesus on the weekend, it would be a scandal. Imagine if a registered child molester moved into your neighborhood and you invited him over for dinner with your entire family and friends. It’s hard to think about something like this happening, isn’t it? It’s hard to take Mark 2 and insert it into our world right now.

The teachers of the law complained to Jesus’ disciples about this nasty habit of hanging out with “sinners”. They didn’t go to Jesus Himself, they went to His followers. Were they afraid to confront Jesus directly? Were they trying to sow discord between Jesus and His disciples? I can’t help but think what Mark is trying to tell us (because I believe every single word the gospel writers wrote has significance and every word they chose to omit was done so because it was irrelevant).

Jesus’ response is awesome, for He is awesome in Himself. His reply, which was to the Pharisees, but the disciples are still within the conversation, was that it should be expected that He spend His time with sinners like the tax collectors. Why? Because His purpose was to help those who are sick (spiritually). Doctors don’t spend all their time with healthy people, why should Jesus spend all His time with those who think they are righteous? He can’t help those who refuse to admit they are broken.

Remember, not just today but for our precious time on earth – The church is not a hotel for saints, it is a hospital for sinners. And the Doctor is always in, waiting for us to lead our broken loved ones to Him.

Zach

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October 14, 2009 - Posted by | Zach | ,

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