Who Needs Jesus? (Mark 12:13-17)

indexThe religious leaders in Jesus’ day struggled to make sense of what he was doing. It didn’t fit their preconceived categories of what was right and holy and needed. We see this in their question to Jesus’ disciples in Mark 2:16, “And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’” 

Their question opens the door for Jesus to teach a fundamental principle for his new kingdom: And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners’” (Mark 2:17). Catch the irony and sarcasm, the “tongue in cheek” with which Jesus makes this statement. Here is what he’s saying, ”Those who think that they are well, even when they are sick, will not know that they need a doctor. But those who are sick, and are fully aware that they are sick, they will gladly receive the healing of the doctor.”

Here’s what the “tax collectors and sinners” as well as Mark’s original readers, and so too we, should hear Jesus saying: “I have come for everyone who is humble enough to recognize the need in their life for forgiveness of sin, and humble enough to cry out for the Physician for healing of their sin-sick soul. I’ve come for you. The kingdom of God is not limited to a certain kind of person, from a certain place, etc. It belongs to the poor in spirit.”

Click to listen to Who Needs Jesus? (Mark 12:13-17) from May 25. Also, other messages in the Jesus the Servant King series from the Gospel of Mark.