One big problem we have is that it can take pretty long time for us to establish the condition of our health. It is a tragedy to be sick and be ignorant about it. There are many sicknesses that hide in the body for a long time without their symptoms showing up. By the time they are discovered, the damage would have been done. This, however, is not as common as the spiritual sickness that hide in people’s lives, keeping them for an eternal surprise.

When accused of eating with sinners (tax collectors precisely), Jesus gave an answer that was in the circumstances sarcastic but generally true. In Luke 5:27-32, the Bible records that Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, Levi got up, left everything and followed Him. Interesting! Jesus asked Levi to follow Him and the next thing we are told is that Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his (Levi’s) house. The Lord had just asked Levi to follow Him as He led the way to Levi’s home—sounds like self-invitation. A large crowd of tax collectors and others also joined at Levi’s home for a feast. The Pharisees and the teachers, however, complained to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Though Jesus said that it is the sick that seek the doctor, He actually went out seeking them. In the above case, Luke records that “Jesus went out and saw a tax collector…”(v. 27).

Normally, it is the sick that ought to seek medical help. How this ought to have been the case for spiritual sickness as well! Regarding spiritual sickness, the “doctor” has to run around in a bid to catch up with people who need “treatment”.
The tax-collectors, like anybody else, were sick but Jesus sought them. Jesus was a doctor who went out seeking the sick. Why didn’t He also seek the Pharisees and the scribes? Tax-collectors knew that they were “sick”, the Pharisees and the Scribes would scoff at an implication that they were sick. So, in essence, Jesus was telling them, it is easy treating someone who acknowledges his sickness than trying to convince someone that he is sick when he feels he is at the top of the world in matters of health.

What does this teach us? We are prone to miss the point when we think we have it all than when we humble ourselves so that even if we think we have it all, we may allow ourselves to be examined.

Another thing to learn in this story is that we are in the ministry of going out to seek the sick. The great commission hasn’t been heeded the way it ought to in our generation because we wait for sinners to come to church, instead of going out to meet them the way Jesus did.


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