Scripture: Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5.31,32
Observations: Quickly we discover the grace of Jesus' message and ministry. Peter, who felt most unworthy in the presence of Jesus, along with James and John were called to leave their fishing nets and fish for people. A leper's "unclean" status does not keep him from Jesus' healing touch. The paralytic, with the help of his friends, finds forgiveness for his sins as well as healing for his paralysis. And then Levi, the much despised tax collector, is called to leave his tax booth to follow Jesus.
When the law-conscience Pharisees and Teaches of the Law are offended by Jesus' claim to forgive sins and by the undesirables he is associating with, Jesus responds by stating that it is for those very people he had come.
Apply: Those who are most open to Jesus are those who are most aware of their need. Conversely, those who set themselves up as the morality police are most prone to missing out on Jesus. Grace is Jesus' invitation to be honest without fear. The legalistic religion of the Pharisees only leads to hypocritical denial of one's own sinfulness.
Prayer: Jesus, may I never forget that I am merely a sinner saved by your grace. And help me to reach out with your grace to those who are are most in need of your forgiveness and healing.