To Whom Did Jesus Come?
“Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with such scum?’ When Jesus heard this, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do.’ Then he added, ‘Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”1
R.C. Buckner, a big, bold, and brash man, lived about 100 years ago in Texas. This imposing figure had a very tender heart for children, starting Buckner's Children's Homes across the state. The children affectionately called him "Papa Buckner" and would run up to him every time he visited. He would always take the time to pick up each child and give them a hug.
One day he was visiting one of the homes and was hugging all the children gathered around him when he noticed a little girl who was standing with her face against the wall. He discovered that she had been seriously burned in an accident and had a terrible scar on her face. He went over to her and asked, "Sweetheart, don't you want Papa Buckner to hug you?"
Without turning around, she snarled, "No, I'm too ugly."
Papa Buckner knelt, picked her up in his burly arms, turned her face gently toward his, looked right into her eyes and then planted a tender kiss right on the burned portion of her face. After he kissed her, he said, "Sweetheart, you are beautiful to me, and you are beautiful to God."2
This is such a beautiful illustration of what Christ has done for each of us. From the moment he was born to the moment he was crucified; he always did the unexpected. The Pharisees expected him to be highly intellectual and be like them, but Jesus came to break that mold and be an active example of love, mercy, compassion, justice, and humility. While the religious leaders “knew a lot”, Jesus DID a lot. He went to the broken, lost, and messy people. He sought out the sick people who were looking for love, truth, and forgiveness. He gave hope to the hopeless.
Friends, God doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He created us and knew that, because of sin, we are flawed and will make mistakes. He wants us to be honest with him and with ourselves, accept his forgiveness, and run into his loving arms. You are beautiful to God. You matter to him and he cares. No matter how broken we may feel, it is never too much for Jesus to heal. This is the truth he wants us to see, accept, and share with others. Jesus came to pay the price that we could never pay, so that we could experience the joy and love of a meaningful and personal relationship with Him.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for looking on me with eyes of compassion and love. Despite my flaws, you invite me to come to you. I pray that you would give me the same love and compassion for others. That I would not be quick to judge, but instead see others through your lens. Not only do I want to know your Word, but I want to do your Word. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Matthew 9:10-13 (NLT).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.