“Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honour. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teacher of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?” Jesus answered 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 and need to repent.”
There is something so dangerous about self-righteousness. It is like a blindfold that blinds us from the reality of truth. It narrows our vision to see only what we want to see. It negates any responsibility from our actions or thoughts. And furthermore, instead of leading us to Christ, it leads us away from Him. You see, when we think we are perfect, righteous and have no wrong in our lives, we start to become more independent and less dependent on Jesus. We begin to forget that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation and rather focus on doing. We become critical of others and start to judge their ‘unrighteousness’.
Look at the story in today’s passage. Isn’t this exactly what the Pharisees and teachers of the law were doing? Yet Jesus issued a stern warning that we too can take heed of, ‘I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.’ When we realise that we are in need of saving, that is when our hearts are open to accept Jesus’ salvation. When we admit we are sick, that is when we can be healed. If we don’t realise we are sick and lost without Christ, then we will just live in a bubble of ‘me’ and never know or experience Jesus’ love and mercy.
Don’t beat yourself up thinking you are a terrible sinner but equally don’t think you are perfect and have no need for Jesus. Admit that we need saving but then rejoice in the salvation that has been given.
‘I once was lost, but now I’m found. I once was blind, but now I see!’