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  • Writer's pictureJean Kabasomi

“You are NOT Kinder than God!”

Mark 2:15-17 - Later Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house. Many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples. They were part of the large crowd following Jesus. Some teachers of the law who were Pharisees were there. They saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors. So they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard that. So he said to them, “Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor. Sick people do. I have not come to get those who think they are right with God to follow me. I have come to get sinners to follow me.” (NIRV)

Devotional Series: Reflections on the Life and Words of Jesus

“You are NOT kinder than God!” I once heard a preacher say this and I was taken aback. Why? Because it’s true but I sometimes behave as though it isn’t. God, in his infinite wisdom, created all of us with the ability to choose. Each and every one of us has free will - the right and choice to say “No!”.

For those of us who believe that Christ is the only way to a fulfilled life, we want as many people as possible to know this and dedicate their lives to serving God. Sometimes for those of us with strong personalities, sharp minds, or the spirit of discernment, we want people to come around to our way of doing things because we are usually right. In both instances, we are all only trying to help people come to the right decision quickly and efficiently to save time, resources, and a lot of unnecessary pain and hurt. We think it is kinder to nudge people to our way of thinking.

But in today’s passage, we see that our Saviour took a different approach. He wasn’t about forcing people to come around to his way of doing things. Instead, he was about helping those who wanted his help. His mission and purpose were not to help those who thought they were righteous but to help those who knew they were sick.

Mark 2:17 - When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (NLT)

Now this doesn’t mean abandoning people to the wind. When Jesus sent out the disciples, he told them to go to all the towns and houses. But if they were not received somewhere, they were to shake the dust off their feet. We are to speak but we aren’t supposed to use force. When we are rejected, we are to move on quickly!

Mark 6:7-11 – He [Jesus] called the 12 disciples to him. Then he began to send them out two by two. He gave them authority to drive out evil spirits. Here is what he told them to do. “Take only a walking stick for your trip. Do not take bread or a bag. Take no money in your belts. Wear sandals. But do not take extra clothes. When you are invited into a house, stay there until you leave town. Some places may not welcome you or listen to you. If they don’t, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet. That will be a witness against the people living there.” (NIRV)

How many times have we tried to make someone come around to our way of thinking? How many times have we tried to shove the Gospel down someone’s throat who simply isn’t interested? How many times have we been rejected or insulted just because we didn’t know when to stop and walk away?

Perhaps instead of using our efforts to change people’s minds, we ought to pray for people as Jesus taught us…

Luke 23:34 - Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” (NIRV)

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