“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. . . For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Matthew 9:12a and 13b
Author Dane Ortland describes a hypothetical scenario whereby a doctor moves to an area of the world among impoverished villages. He sets up a medical clinic, inviting people to come. Do you know what pleases him most? When sick people show up! Especially the very ill, desperate for his care. If only the healthy came to visit, his efforts would be wasted. He’s doing what he came to do only when the sick come.
Ortland goes on to compare this to Jesus’ ministry. He didn’t come for those who felt spiritually healthy. He came for those who were spiritually sick and knew it. He was accused of hanging out with sinners. Of course that’s what he did! They were why he came. Sometimes he didn’t wait for them to come to him. He went out to find them.
Jesus is back in heaven, but his purpose remains: To seek out those of us who know we’re sinful and to welcome us with open arms. When we come, he cleans us up, sets us on our feet, and loves us into the kingdom of God.
We’ve got it wrong if we think we have to get our act together to be able to approach Jesus. Or if we think what we have done is so bad he could never forgive us. He came for people like us – people who know how much they need a new life, a spiritual bath. Only real sinners can experience his real forgiveness.
“. . . for the penitent, his heart of gentle embrace is never outmatched by our sins and foibles and insecurities and doubts and anxieties and failures.” – Dane Ortland
The book cited is Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortland
So, so good – thank you Bev for this latest message.
On Wed, Nov 3, 2021 at 5:09 AM Walking Together on Holy Ground wrote:
> beverlyvankampen posted: ” “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but > the sick. . . For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – > Matthew 9:12a and 13b Author Dane Ortland describes a hypothetical scenario > whereby a doctor moves to an area of the world” >
He did come for those who thought they were spiritually healthy, too. Just harder to get them to see their need. (Which is, I think, where you’re going.) We were watching a Fleming Rutledge sermon on the Prodigal Son, and she imagined the father asking the ‘good’ son, “Your brother was dead and has come back to life. Are you dead?” And the answer has to be “Yes! I need that resurrection power.”
Yes, we are all in need of the Great Physician, but we don’t all realize it. As someone once said, “You have to get lost before you can get found.”