Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC

Mark 2:16-18 (NLT)
16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees Saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” 17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

We’ve all experienced the feeling of being left out or even unwanted at some time in our lives.  Maybe you are stuck wondering today where you fit in?  Have you believed the lie that there is no place for you?  Jesus has a seat for you (and me) at His table.  

The Pharisees had mastered the art of exclusivity, but Jesus explained they were the ones with the problem.  The Pharisees flaunted their self-righteousness and legalism, but Jesus explained they had it all backwards when he said, “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

What we think, and what we know are often two different things. The Pharisees demonstrated the danger of this puffed up self-image.  The self-righteous are way out of touch with their sin problem and live a malignant lie. They don’t want or seek a cure for their sin-sickness because they have already deemed themselves, “healthy.” 

Conversely, we may know God’s Truth, but the enemy loves to feed us lies that influence our thinking and promote feelings of worthiness. We may know we are sick and in need of The Great Physician, but feel too unworthy of His attention and cure.  

Sinner, come and be set free.  There is a seat for you and me.  What a healing place to be at the Lord’s table.  The bedraggled, the wayward, the stubborn, the frustrated, the hurt…whatever your heart looks like to today, surrender.  Jesus has called us to come.  Take your seat and let the Savior set you free.  

Repentance is humbling, but is essential to a healthy, growing relationship with God.  We are reminded to stay, or abide at the table with our Lord (John 15:4) in order to grow.  It is sin and pride that scoots our chair away from the table of sinners and towards the pack of “healthy” Pharisees.  

Matthew records this same passage as Mark but adds, Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’” (Matthew 9:12-13). Jesus invites us to surrender our heart to Him once for all eternity.  Daily, Jesus invites our heart to learn how to follow Him in every area of our life. Christianity is and always has been about relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not keeping up appearances.  

Lyrics to the song “Come to the Table” by Sidewalk Prophets, remind us all to accept Jesus’s invitation.  This song’s video poignantly illustrates the beautifully diverse picture of unity and love found at Jesus’s table.  May our love to others be an extension of our seat at His table and live welcoming others.  Worship the Lord today and let this song be a prayer for your heart today.  

Come to the Table, by Sidewalk Prophets, Official Music Video 

Father God, thank you for Your love and mercy.  Search my heart today and show me where I need to surrender. Grow me to be more like Jesus from the inside out.  Teach me how to live out every area of my life so that You are glorified.  In Jesus Name, Amen.   

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.