After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
I am amazed when I consider the men that Jesus called to be his students. It was like he wanted to train men from the ground up. He did not want theologians, teachers or philosophers who were already indoctrinated in the traditions and thinking of Israel. He saw something in the men that he called that always said an immediate yes to his invitation to simply “Follow me”. Perhaps we would do well to focus on this aspect in our lives?
In contrast to the excitement of Levi, who immediately called all of his friends together, we see in the religious elders a dark self righteous judgmentalism. In these we begin to understand why the Lord called no religious leaders to walk by his side. Christ's mission to bind up the brokenhearted could not be embraced by men who could not see past the brokenness and pain of these who they called “sinners”. He needed sinners to save sinners.
Help me Lord. I am in need of a physician to heal me of self righteous judgmentalism.