Read Isaiah 58:9-14, Ps. 86:1-6, Luke 5:27-32
“The Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (Luke 5:30-31)
It is easier to notice the speck in my neighbors’ eyes than the logs in mine. It is easier to preach to others than to examine our own conscience. It is easier to point fingers at those in the government than to be a good leader. Some of us who rain insults on our leaders cannot even manage a social media group. You may be very good at diagnosing others like a doctor but if you never go for a check-up, you might die without medical attention.
As Isaiah tells us in our first reading today, one of the sins that God hates is the pointing of fingers at others. To put it simply, if we have the habit of gossiping about others, running them down (character assassination) we prevent our prayers from being heard by God. In the book of Revelation, the devil is described as the “accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10).
Those who are good at pointing out the sins of others do not often give time to examining their own lives and as a result, they develop a false sense of self-perfection. They spend their time and energy trying to look good before others than trying to do what is right. They find it very difficult to admit they are wrong and are ready to eliminate anyone who is bold enough to tell them the truth to their face.
There are two kinds of sinners; those who admit they are sinners and are willing to repent and those who believe they are perfect. Jesus gave the parable of a physician with reference to the second group. Unlike the Pharisees, Levi knew admitted his faults, he knew he needed a physician. While the Pharisees were busy running their mouths, Levi and his friends were receiving Divine treatment from Jesus Christ.
Later on, Jesus would say: “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31-32). Rather than exert your energy on pointing fingers at others, use it to develop yourself. Become the change you would like to see in others. Don’t stop at verbally condemning evil, let your actions also do the talking for you.
If you really desire to change others for good, then apply Jesus’ method. Make friends with the person; show love to them; eat with them and as the prophet Isaiah says: “pour ourselves out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted that our light my rise in the darkness.” (Isaiah 58:10). Note that by eating with tax collectors, Jesus was not approving of their misdeeds, rather He assured them of God’s love for them and in this way, He moved their hearts to repentance.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may I wholly follow you leaving sin behind. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (Saturday after Ash Wednesday. Bible Study: Isaiah 58:9-14, Ps. 86:1-6, Luke 5:27-32).