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A Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Three)

Day Three

Scripture: Mark 2:13-17

Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax-collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.


“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Don’t we hear this a lot nowadays as well? When I was a youth pastor at a Presbyterian church in Atlanta, Georgia, there was a new high school girl who started to come to our church. She wore make-up and her skirt was really short. Some youth parents didn’t like her. One father even came to me and said he wanted me to separate his daughter from this “naughty girl.” He was worried that his good girl would be influenced by this “bad” girl.

Now as a father, I could kind of understand that he wanted to protect his innocent girl by all means necessary. However, I told him that “this new girl needs a good community where she is not judged by her looks. And your girl could influence her to be a better person.” He was not convinced.

I feel blessed that there are so many good people around me. However, I also have to remind myself that it is my call to be with those who are categorized and labeled as “sinners and tax collectors” because they also need to experience the unconditional love of God and have a chance to be healed and transformed by it. Those who are broken, lost, and forgotten… We need to be with them. We are called to be healers just as Jesus is for us.


  • Who are the “sinners and tax collectors” today?

  • How I could be a “physician” for them?

Prayer / Reflection:

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