Sinners to Repentance Mk 2:17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The Pharisees questioned why Jesus ate and drank with publicans and sinners. The answer is that the Lord calls sinners to repentance. Notice:
The Lord calls sinners – no need to clean up first and make yourself “look” presentable to the Lord – he knows what you are better than you do because he looks on the heart – it is important to admit what and who you really are – it turns out that the Pharisees were worse sinners than the publicans and sinners – however, they didn’t know it – after all they were the ones who sought to destroy Jesus – consider the fact that you are a sinner – and then consider the fact that Jesus really does care about sinners coming to him.
The Lord calls sinners to repentance – the Lord doesn’t just call sinners; he calls sinners to repentance – he doesn’t call sinners to remain, he calls them to repent – just because he was eating with publicans and sinners doesn’t mean that he condoned their sin – to the contrary, he hated it – it was sin that sent him to the cross – but by eating and drinking with sinners, Jesus could convince some of them of their need to repent – likewise, Jesus wants you to repent of your sin and turn to his righteousness – and then when you get saved Jesus wants you to leave that old life completely and live among the righteous.
The Lord doesn’t call the righteous to repentance – if you are already saved and living for the Lord then there is no reason to keep repenting to get saved every week – you are truly righteous because you have Christ’s righteousness in you – you are not going to get more of his righteousness by repenting more – you will sin after you get saved and the Lord wants you to confess and forsake those sins in your life, of course – but don’t think that you have to keep repenting because you haven’t become perfect or lived up to the high standard you have set for yourself – continual repenting doesn’t draw you closer to the Lord; it only makes you more consciously aware of your sins, shortcomings and failures – there is no benefit to continually repenting of your flesh – your flesh is weak and that is all there is to it – so mortify the deeds of your flesh and walk in the Spirit.
The Lord calls the righteous to call the sinners – once we get saved the Lord wants us to do what Jesus did – he wants us to “eat and drink” with publicans and sinners so that we can, as ambassadors for Christ, beseech them, in Christ’s stead, to be reconciled to God – in other words, we don’t go back and party with them as if we were still part of the old crowd but we don’t become so separated from them that we can’t reach them, either – we make ourselves available to meet them in the ordinary affairs of life in hopes of leading them to Christ.
Conclusion: If you are saved, your life should reflect a noticeable change because Christ called you to repentance – and if you are saved there should be a peace and calm assurance that you are truly now righteous and secure in Jesus Christ – and if you are saved there should be a desire to call other sinners to repentance.