Independence Day (USA)
Amos 8:4-6, 9-12; Psalm 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131;Matthew 9:9-13
Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. (Matthew 9:12)
Jesus could just as easily have been saying those who thinkthey are well do not need a physician. Look at the difference between Matthew and the Pharisees who were hounding Jesus! Matthew must have known that Jesus was offering him something he needed because he immediately left everything behind to become a disciple. But it seems that the Pharisees remained closed to the life Jesus was offering them.
What a loss for them! Think of all the mercy, restoration, and power that Jesus was poised to shower on these men who had devoted themselves to God’s law. And not just the Pharisees, but to us! But to the degree that we think we don’t need it, or we need to prove ourselves worthy of it, we’re missing the joy and freedom that come from Christ.
So when you struggle, or when you sin, take courage. Rejoice! These things can serve as “speed bumps” to get your attention, so that you can slow down and hear Jesus calling your name. Just as he did for Matthew, he is waiting to share a meal with you—a blessing that he has been storing up just for you. St. Paul rejoiced in his weakness because he knew that it was then that God could show his strength through him (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). You too can rejoice as you see your need because it will move you to open yourself to more of God’s blessings!
Imagine how much untapped blessing we can close ourselves off from just because we are afraid to admit our needs. Or because we’re too self-conscious to let other people, like our confessor, see our weakness. Or because we don’t feel we’re worthy of God’s lavish love. Don’t let this happen!
Jesus is waiting. He’s looking at you with love and he wants to pour his mercy on you. He wants to bring you into his freedom. Imagine how the Pharisees’ response must have saddened him. And imagine his joy when any one of us follows Matthew’s example and welcomes him with open arms!
“Jesus, I run to you! I am not afraid to say that I am sick and in need of a physician. I need your mercy and forgiveness. Fill me with your life!”~WAU