“Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
The scribes and Pharisees are complaining about Jesus’ actions. They do not think He should meet with sinners. I hear this complaint every time we gather as a church for corporate worship. It is not the voice of the Pharisees that I hear, but my own voice. I begin to think of all the reasons why I cannot enter into the presence of God, enjoy access to the throne of Grace or experience His work in my life. I am reminded of my sins, both the things that I have done and what I have failed to do. Along with those thoughts, comes an overwhelming sense of not being worthy to enter His presence. It is at that moment when this great truth rings out from His Word:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32
Although hidden and unconfessed sin will hinder your relationship with, and experience of, God, Jesus came for sinners. When He entered the synagogue in Capernaum He was drawn to the man with the withered hand. In a room filled with people, He did not avoid the one who needed Him most, but was drawn to Him. He does the same thing today. The very things that we think keep us from being able to meet with Him and experience His grace, are the very things He wants to address in our lives.
If you have sin you have yet to deal with, that you are holding onto, confess it, lay it at His feet, and let Him wash you and empower you for victory. Don’t let your failures keep you from coming to Him, worshipping Him, and experiencing His marvelous grace and power in your life. After all, it was not the voice of Jesus that was keeping the sinners away, He is calling for you.