The scripture reading today is Luke 5:31 (NRSV).
Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”
They’re Not Disciple Material . . . (ah, but They Are!)
Last weekend, we read Luke’s description of Jesus calling some fishermen to be disciples (5:1-11). After a couple of healing episodes, He then calls Levi the tax collector and dines with a bunch of Levi’s buddies (5:27-39).
The local religious authorities (Pharisees, scribes, teachers of the Torah) are skeptical about Jesus in general, and decide that they are qualified to be Jesus’ Human Resources Department—monitoring His choice of disciples and how they all should behave.
Jesus stands up for His own HR policies: “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.” He saw how the religious and societal status quo wasn’t working. He was looking for some new recruits (‘wineskins’) to pour His ‘new wine’ into (5:36-39). Repentance was the key, and those with a change of heart were exactly who Jesus was looking for, no matter what was in their resumé, track record, or table manners.
Dear Jesus, You have called me to discipleship through repentance. Change my heart whenever I seek to limit the range of Your grace. Amen.
Pastor Jim firstname.lastname@example.org