Mark 2:17, NCV
“The true Christian’s nostril is to be continually attentive to the inner cesspool.”
How ironic! Today, religious people are seen as a sort of an elite, an upper crust. The seem like they have it together, or at least they think so. Somewhat superior to those of us who live hard, and know all about sin. The hearts of the lower level don’t make any pretension to any kind of spirituality.
They understand that they are the ‘dregs.’ They have adapted to living in an ugly and twisted world that gives nothing. There is a sense that they know they are on ‘the highway to hell.’ They aren’t surprised by this.
The gross sinner, and the spiritually debilitated, have been brought into a very special place. Jesus intends to escort us into glory, even in spite of our and unsightly infection. He is wonderful, and yet we see that He really does specialize in losers. He ‘homes in’ on them and then connects with those who have no ‘religious’ sense to speak of.
This seems quite counter-intuitive, especially if you’re trying to start a religious movement. It is quite necessary to have a strong base, to seek out good people, and with finances– obviously. And ‘the sick’ have blown it all on sex, drugs and rock & roll. They will never finance the ministry of Jesus. The disciples all have grasped this, especially Judas. They are full of practicality. They approach discipleship as a business. (And truly, these are the dangerous ones.)
The sick, the defective, and the infirm have now been elevated by Jesus’ new focus. They have ‘zero spiritual’ value, with absolutely nothing to contribute — they are more of a liability then anything. People like us who are very ill really can’t contribute to what is really happening. More often then not, they require intensive care from the healthy and whole, sapping the strength of the work. Truly God is not against us because of our sin. He is with us against our sin.
I have a blue handicapped placard. This really helps and gives me preferential parking. And in much the same way spiritually, if you are a loser– you have dibs. Jesus shines on you specifically (even if the Church won’t.)
There is a kind of a loving triage that He uses as He draws people into His domain and influence. Hearts and lives that are black receive His eager attention. Of course, there will be voices that object to this perceived inequity.
But Jesus has no favorites, only intimates. Remember this, the sinner who has been “forgiven much, loves much.”