September 23, 2016

The Uncalled

The teachers of the law who were Pharisees took exception to Jesus eating with sinners. 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). As a tax collector Matthew knew he was a sinner and if he had any doubt the Pharisees reminded him of his status. The Pharisees on the other hand thought they were righteous. I’m trying to put myself in the mind of the Pharisee and hearing Jesus say to me, “I’m not calling you.” 

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Let’s say the Pharisees had no doubt they were righteous. They were fully invested in that belief. It is the only way Jesus could become such an enemy to them, for all their books of history and Scriptures pointed not only to Jesus, but also to the attitudes and ideas He taught. One of the many nuances of the Hebrew word translated as “humble” is to chasten thy self, another is to submit the self. About the English word, Merriam-Webster offers “not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission.”
-----Deference and submission are dangerous natures. If one should think not, then let him try a day of deference and submission to the devil. They are dangerous like a car is dangerous, for it will take you exactly where you point it. That could just as well be over a cliff as it could be to church. I have no doubt the Pharisees were certain of their humility. The problem was, they were humbled to what they learned as Pharisees about God’s Word. That’s quite different from being humble towards the Word of God itself. That’s why I don’t consider myself a Presbyterian, or Baptist, or Seventh Day Adventist, or anything other than someone who is hopelessly enamored by God’s Word and all His people who love it.
-----”He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Ps 25:9) We don’t often stop to think a sentence is made of words. Words are made of ideas. Ideas are made of impressions and feelings. The mind is like that. It is made of all the impressions and feelings you’ve had and are having. But these do not all rest in the mind like a few scoops of dirt in a bucket. Concepts are made of impressions and feelings. Attitudes and tendencies and beliefs derive from concepts. Most of these impressions, feelings, concepts, attitudes, tendencies, beliefs, etc. are not built into us by others, although there is a substance of them that does come from the many cultures and sub-cultures of the groupings of people through which our lives travel. But ultimately, it is you who form that substance into the understandings which generate impressions and feelings.
-----When formulating understanding about something, anything, do we ever go, “Could I be wrong about this? Let see, what might I need to do to assure this emerging understanding approximates the truth to the best of my abilities?” Humility is not to just subserviently jump in the back seat and consider yourself floor dirt. Humility is to jump in the seat of your real place in truth and consider yourself whatever that truth might be. Since, we’re more than simply biological machinery, our minds are made of the sum of our ponderings. Checking the “mathwork” of those ponderings for truth as we go along through life squares the mind with God.
-----Now. Where do we find truth? A pretty big swath of folks say, “Jesus!” But a section of that swath won’t have anything to do with Pentecostals. A different section won’t have anything to do with Methodists. Another swath won’t have anything to do with Catholics. Yet they all call on the name of Jesus. “Oh, but that one doesn’t do it the right way!”
-----Poor Pharisees. They were so close, yet they were so far away. Their desires seemed right; they just weren’t aimed right. As long as we are in these mortal bodies, none of us have arrived. So the best knowing we can do is to still be learning. To still be learning is to yet need healing. And that’s to need a doctor.

Love you all,
Steve Corey