“And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’” (Luke 5:31-32)
In the Gospel of John, Jesus and His disciples visited a Samaritan village. Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along in those days, and most Jews who had to travel through a Samaritan village didn’t stay long. Jesus, however, sent His disciples into the village for some food while He rested beside a well. While He was waiting, a lone woman came to the well for water. Jesus spoke to her, quickly turning the conversation to spiritual matters. At one point, Jesus asked her to bring her husband. She told Him that she didn’t have a husband, to which Jesus replied that she was right; she had had five and was now living with yet another man to whom she was unmarried.
Jesus knew everything about the Samaritan woman. He knew everything she had ever done and ever would do. He knew that she was living in sin, but that didn’t turn Him away from her. He knew who she was before she even came to the well; He didn’t have to speak to her. But He did. He wanted the woman to know Him so she could be free from her sin.
So often, we slip into a mindset that God doesn’t like sinners. We think that, since He is holy and sin can’t enter His presence, He doesn’t want us around. We can’t come to Him unless we’re already good. But that completely misses the point of the Gospel. We can’t save ourselves. Nothing we ever do can make us “good enough” in God’s eyes. But the good news? God knows that. He also wants us to come into His presence. When He created the world, He created humankind to have a relationship with Him. Because of sin, that relationship has been broken, but God has provided a way to heal it. Jesus came to save sinners. We’re all deathly ill with the horrible sickness of sin, but Jesus has the cure. He is the cure. Jesus doesn’t want the perfect you; He wants the broken, repentant you, coming to Him in faith, trusting that He can heal you. He came to call sinners—even horrible sinners.
This week, how can you apply the truth that Jesus came for sinners to your own life? How does affect your perception of others? Of yourself?