“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
Who is worthy of salvation? We are very blessed that we don’t live in some comic book or movie universe where salvation is like Thor’s magic hammer that only those who are worthy can access. Why? Because no-one is righteous enough to be worthy.
However, modern society certainly likes to focus on being “righteous”. The world is caught up in proving, doing and being good enough to be accepted. Cancel culture and purity culture police the internet and all we say, leading to a set of impossible goalposts that we will never reach but still strive to achieve to be perceived as “righteous” enough for acceptance within wider society. This is both mentally and physically exhausting.
This text encourages us to reflect on the life-changing fact that Jesus did not come to call the righteous but came to call the sinners. Unlike what the Pharisees believed, the Messiah did not come only to save those who are already righteous. This is a very good thing because no-one except for Jesus is righteous. If God operated the same way the Pharisees expected, no-one would be considered worthy enough for salvation. We would certainly be in big trouble if this was the case.
This text reveals how desperately we need Jesus because we will always fall short of righteousness. This text also provides comfort: We don’t need to constantly strive to be perfect or worthy or to say the “right” things that society expects us to. Instead, through Jesus, we receive total acceptance based on what he has done for us, not on our performance.
Lord, thank You for accepting me as I am: A poor, helpless, suffering sinner. Thank you for the joy and grace You’ve granted me through Your Son, Jesus! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.