‘Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick’ (Matthew 9:12).
“Jesus comes for sinners, for those as outcast as tax collectors and for those caught up in squalid choices and failed dreams. He comes for corporate executives, street people, superstars, farmers, hookers, addicts, IRS agents, AIDS victims, and even used-car salesmen” Brennan Manning.
Perhaps you’re thinking you’re too messed up to be accepted or loved by God. That you’ve made too many wrong choices and there’s no way back. But it doesn’t matter where you’ve come from or what you’ve done, Jesus wants to be your Savior and to be your guide till the end of time. He’s waiting for everyone from whatever circumstances. All He requires is belief in Him and a repentant heart.
Throughout the Gospel we see Jesus mixing with those in society that people didn’t expect Him to mingle with. When the self-righteous Pharisees questioned why he was dining with the tax collectors and prostitutes, he responded: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13).
Jesus comes for those who need a saviour: for the broken, the shamed, the rejected, the humiliated, the outcasts. Jesus told the Pharisees: “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31). Why? Because the tax collectors and prostitutes believed in Him, and offered their broken lives to Him. Unlike the vain, superficial piousness of the Pharisees, the tax collectors and prostitutes had faith and a genuine heart for Jesus.
Check out what Brennan Manning say in The Ragamuffin Gospel:
“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last “trick,” whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school; the deathbed convert who for decades had his cake and ate it, broke every law of God and man, wallowed in lust, and raped the earth.
“But how?” we ask.
Then the voice says, “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
There they are. There we are—the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to the faith”.
The Gospel if for you, no matter what “squalid choices” you have made. Jesus came to save, not to condemn. He came to give life, not to destroy. He came to take our sin and shame and nail it to Calvary’s tree. He came to shine a light into the darkness and to be a sinner’s Saviour.
http://www.esquire.com/features/best-and-brightest-2009/shane-claiborne-1209 A fantastic article for non-believers (though I recommend believers read it too).
http://www.multnomahemails.com/wbmlt/pdf/RagamuffinGospel-BrennanManning.pdf The first chapter of The Ragamuffin Gospel.