“Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum? ” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.””
Matthew 9:10-13 NLT


There’s a lot of talk about how messed up the church is. You’d be hard pressed to find a lot of young people who have glowing remarks about the church. Many people say that it is full of hypocrites; People who say one thing and do another.

In some cases they are right! There are some sick people in church. One of the greatest apostles of the New Testament was a sick dude. He even talked about it.

I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. Romans 7:22-25

Paul talked about the soul sickness called sin that we all wrestle with. People who go to church really do love God but they are torn with their sin nature and the great physician, Jesus is the only one that can help them.

Jesus went to make a house call to one of his new disciples named Matthew. Matthew used to be a tax collector. It was one of the most despised professions because they exploited the poor on behalf of the Roman government. They were a mix of the IRS and loan sharks.

When Matthew got saved he wanted Jesus to come to his house and meet his friends who were not saved yet. When the self righteous Pharisees saw him eating with these unsaved tax collectors, they went in on Jesus! “Why is he eating with these scum?!”

Jesus said to them, “It’s not those who are well that need a doctor but the sick.”

Jesus sets a new priority for the church that should silence all the haters of the church.

  1. The church should be a place where your unchurched friends can meet Jesus without being judged. Ain’t nobody perfect. Jesus was loving enough to go into a house full of people still in sin but who were looking for better. The church is a place like Matthew’s house. It’s a house of God where new disciples invite old friends to meet a new Savior.
  2. It’s a place that will forever be under scrutiny from people who think they are better than the people on the inside. It’s easier to tear down people who are trying to get right than it is to look at your own flaws. We are all sinners saved by grace. Before we throw rocks at somebody else’s house we need to realize we live in a glass house that everybody can see through.
  3. Jesus has come for those who know they are sinners. We cannot be holy enough to earn God’s love. We are saved by grace. Religious people get great satisfaction in pointing out the moral failures of those looking for Jesus. But Jesus is looking for those who can admit, “I’ve messed up. What a wretched person I am!” That’s who the church is for!

 


Dear God,

Thank you for creating a place where I can go to get myself together. I’m not perfect but I love you. I love your word but my sickness keeps me from doing right consistently. But every time I come into your house your love for me makes me want to do better. I can feel myself changing from the inside out. Father help me to invite my friends to your house so they can meet the great physician and be healed just like me. I May not be what I’m supposed to be but I thank you that I’m not what I used to be.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen!