Unfortunately, and fortunately, I have been around some excellent doctors in my life. You do not want to go to the doctor, but if you do, you want it to be a good one. As you know, all people get sick, and doctors exist to help sick people.
In Mark chapter 2, Jesus makes a very simple, yet profound statement. He says, “The healthy do not need a doctor, only the sick. I have come not for the healthy, but for the sick.” What was Jesus saying? What point was He making?
If you read Mark 2:13-17, you will see that Jesus had just called a man named Levi to follow Him. This man had an evil profession. He was a tax collector and grew rich off the exploitation of others. In Jesus’ day, tax collectors could tax people on just about anything they wanted to and get away with it. They were some of the most hated people of the day.
Jesus was passing by Levi’s tax booth one day and said to him, “Follow Me.” The Bible tells us that Levi left all things and began following Jesus. Later than evening, Levi invited some of his friends to meet Jesus and tell them how Jesus changed his life. At this gathering were all types of sinful people. Tax collector hung around thieves, prostitutes, liars, and other kinds of wicked people. These were Levi’s friends.
While Jesus was dining with them, some religious leaders observed this and asked His disciples, “Why does Jesus eat with such people?” It would have been considered a very bad thing for a religious person to associate themselves with such people. Jesus was different. He was not like the religious people. He did not care about how it appeared, because He came to seek and save the lost.
Jesus overheard their question and responded, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. And it is for the sick I have come, not for the healthy.” In a very simple statement, Jesus summarized His mission. His mission was to make spiritually sick people well. How was He to do that? By giving them a new heart! This is what Jesus did for Levi. He completely changed his life. He gave him a new heart. Jesus is the Great Physician.
But what did He mean when He said that He did not come for the healthy? After all, are not all people spiritually sick and in need of a new heart? The answer is yes. All people need a new heart and all people need Jesus. What Jesus was saying was directed to the religious leaders. They were sick, but thought they were healthy. Doctors cannot help people who will not admit they are sick. This was the case with the religious leaders. They were just as sick as the people they condemned, but they did not know it. They were not healthy and they desperately needed Jesus, but they thought they were okay on their own.
My friends, Jesus offers nothing to the person who thinks they are fine without Him, but to the one who knows they are nothing and have nothing apart from Him, to him or her He offers everything. The religious condemned the tax collectors and sinners and they judged Jesus for eating with them, when in reality, they were just like them. As I have said before, “Sometimes the one who appears to be the most righteous externally is actually the most corrupt internally.” This was the case with the religious leaders. They were wicked on the inside, but refused to admit it.
This week, remember that Jesus came for sinners, which we all are, but only those who admit it, and recognize it, receive a new heart. Come to Jesus and be changed by the Great Physician. He is all you need.