Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
Jesus spends time with the lost. If you read the pages of any of the four gospels you find Jesus spending time with the broken, the outcasts, the lonely and the rejected. He is with the ‘tax collectors and sinners’. Jesus is to be found with the lost.
That means if we follow Jesus, we will spend time with the lost too. After all, if Jesus is to be found with the undesirable and disreputable, his disciples will be found with them too. Those who are Christians will be led to the lost. After all, as Jesus says, it is the sick who need a doctor, not the healthy. His followers will be with the sinners more than with the righteous.
That gives us a very real challenge. If following Jesus will lead you to the lost, if I am not with the lost, am I truly following Jesus? If I am not with the broken and the badly behaved, am I really where Jesus is? Am I spending more time with the saints than I am with the sinners?
This is a real challenge for those of us who work for the church. We can spend so much time doing church things, that we spend every moment of the day with church people. It can be a bit like a doctor spending every day with healthy people and not with the sick!
Now it’s not quite that simple, of course. Every Christian needs comfort, strength, encouragement – that is important, ongoing work. But the challenge still remains: am I spending so much time with the healthy that I have no time for those who are sick?
Following Jesus will lead us to the lost. We have amazing good news of a saviour who can bind up the brokenhearted, heal the sick and forgive the sinner. But that good news will go to waste if we never cross paths with someone who hasn’t met him! We need to follow Jesus to where the lost are.
Perhaps Jesus’ call for us is to do less so we can go out more. To be less busy so we can be more available for our neighbour, our friend or our family member. To aim to be someone who is with the lost and the needy, because that is where we will find Jesus is too.