Tuesday, October 27
The wrong kinds of people
Scripture: Job 19, Mark 1-2
Mark 2:15–16 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”
Jesus called Levi, a tax collector, to follow Him. Tax collectors were hated because of their collaboration with the Roman occupiers and unscrupulously profiting from that treachery. They were near the bottom of the Jewish social ladder. The first thing Levi did was invited Jesus and the boys over for dinner, and included his circle of friends. Who were a tax collector’s circle of friends? Tax-collectors (birds of a feather…) and “other disreputable sinners.”
I love Mark’s parenthetical comment: “There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.” Jesus seemed to attract the wrong kinds of people, at least from the perspective of the religious.
Is that still true today of Jesus’ church? Do we attract the wrong kinds of people—the unsavory, the losers, the down-and-out, the sinners? Sadly, these people often are not drawn to us, but repelled by us. Or we avoid them, or are uncomfortable around them. What would it look like for me—for us—to be more intentional, comfortable and attractive to the wrong kind of people—people who are far from God and considered unlikely to become Christians?
I’m reminded of a friend who signed up for Rooted. The person responsible for creating the groups didn’t know my friend, so he looked at her Facebook page—and was shocked! She was “a disreputable sinner” and was open about it! But she came to Rooted, was loved and accepted, and gave her life to Jesus and became a powerhouse follower!
Let’s do more of that!
Thank God that Jesus sees not just what we are, but what we can become!
Prayer: Lord, help me and help Your people to do what Jesus did and love irreligious people—the wrong kind of people—who are broken and far from God.