“But when some of the Jewish religious leaders saw him eating with these men of ill repute, they said to his disciples, “How can he stand it, to eat with such scum?”
There are four different types of people listed in Mark 2. This is an amazing passage that really does need a closer look. We really do must understand what Jesus did, and what He insisted we do as followers. Is there room for that? There’s something here in verse 16 which we must think about:
- Jesus, (He’s happily eating and listening)
- the Pharisees, (the bad guys with religious issues)
- the disciples, (a mixed bunch of nobodies)
- the scum, (tax-collectors, harlots, and all-around rascals)
A question is asked by the Pharisees to the disciples–perhaps these religious leaders want Jesus’ followers to see the awful ramifications of the Lord’s conduct. Perhaps the Pharisees wanted to confuse these followers. A divide and conquer strategy?
Jesus has chosen to be with outcasts.
And I believe this was a deliberate decision. Jesus wanted to fellowship, but the religious leaders were not invited. Too bad.
He is eating with these “men of ill repute.” The old KJV brings out a different take, “How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” Now, this is fascinating.
I believe that Jesus chooses to be with those who have lost their way. I believe that He desires people who will never measure up. In a sense, He is rejecting religion over incompetence.
“When Jesus heard this, he told them, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
I’m encouraged by His decision. It tells me that I still have hope.