Only sinners accept Jesus

The Pharisees were disgusted with Jesus for dining with people whom they considered sinners. Jesus responded by telling them why He came – “Not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” As we have seen, He did not mean that the Pharisees had no sin, but that they considered themselves righteous. To use another figure of speech, they saw themselves as healthy, not needing a physician. The tax collectors, thieves, and harlots knew otherwise. They realized their sin, and saw themselves as “sick,” needing the care of a doctor. That is why they flocked to Jesus for healing and forgiveness. But the Pharisees rejected not only those “sinners,” but Jesus as well. They simply saw no need for Him. They were so obsessed with the faults of others that they could not see their own spiritual poverty and sickness. What about us? Are we so aware of the faults of others that we remain blind to our own? Do we not see just how heinously we offend against God each day, each hour, almost each moment, as we fail to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves? Self-righteous people not only criticize and look down upon others; they also fail to see their desperate, daily, need of Christ. They may profess to believe in Him, but they do not cry out desperately for mercy; they do not beg Him for forgiveness and the power to change. Strange as it may seem, only “sinners” can accept Jesus! And only the self-confessed wicked can receive His grace and mercy.