Reputation Aside

Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 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?" 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.” (Mark 2:15-17)

Have you ever noticed that sentence in this passage before? "There were many people of this kind..." What a way for people to 'label' other people. "Those people" - that is a label, isn't it? They didn't 'measure up' to the standards being imposed upon them - much like you and me on occasion. They didn't 'follow the rules' some of the time - like us rule-breakers. They didn't always know what was right, much less do it - very much like some of us, huh? Yet, Jesus' opinion of 'those people' was different - he put reputation aside in order to minister to the need that was obvious, as well as the need that wasn't as apparent.

The ones who followed Jesus knew their reputation. They understood that they 'didn't measure up', but perhaps that is why they sought Jesus out. They might secretly have desired to 'measure up', but they just didn't see how they could. Much like us, they knew they had a need deep within for 'something more', but they might not have realized where their need could be met until they heard about Jesus. They may have looked at every other option (alcohol, prostitution, service to the Roman government, and even thievery), but come up lacking. That is until they met Jesus!

Society can 'label' people - not always realistically or with rational standards. Those labels can follow individuals for years, making it seem impossible to ever be 'seen' differently. Jesus put his reputation aside in order to help those with a reputation put theirs aside once and for all. This should be good news for those of us who haven't always 'done right' in this world. I am the first to admit I needed a 'reputation overhaul' when I came to Jesus. Jesus doesn't see our reputation and turn the other way. He sees the one trapped by that reputation and embraces them anyway. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

Steel in your convictions

Sentimental gush

Not where, but who