31Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick.
32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32 (CSB)
Jesus is not saying the Pharisees were spiritually healthy, but rather they saw themselves that way. They did not realize, nor would they accept Jesus’ help because they thought they were okay. Jesus, like a doctor, had to get close to the sick to heal them. Jesus was full of compassion, not condemnation. We must be full of compassion, not condemnation. The Pharisees thought they had to be separate from sinners. They thought they were holy because of their separation. They thought holiness came from what they did not do, where they did not go, and who they did not associate. Holiness is not about those things. I can’t make myself holy. Holiness is a work of God. Holy living is about God changing me on the inside. Holiness is about God changing us from the inside out and if God is changing you from the inside out, then you are going to be full of compassion, not condemnation. You are going to draw and be drawn by people who need you – not other Christians, but people who do not know Christ.
Christians, we must stop being germaphobes. We must stop thinking that we are to be separate from the very people we are trying to reach as if they can contaminate us. Is it not true that “greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world”?
How effective would a doctor be if he or she was a germaphobe – if they feared encountering their patients? Such a doctor would be completely ineffective. How effective is a Christian who fears that relationships with unbelievers are wrong and can make them fall? How effective is a Christian who never makes relationships with unbelievers because they read James 4:4, “friendship with the world is hostility toward God”? and think, see, I can’t be friends with the world because I don’t want to hate God. Unfortunately, that is not at all what James is saying. James is saying Christians shouldn’t love the world’s ways and the world’s values. In other words, Christians shouldn’t have a love for materialism and setting our hearts on the pursuit of the same things the rest of the people do. We must have relationships, friendships, with unbelievers if we are going to reach them with the gospel. Jesus did.
Jesus was full of compassion, not condemnation. If Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, then why do we? If Jesus, who was without sin, didn’t condemn sinners, then why do we? Instead of condemning and being judgmental toward people, we, like a good doctor, must be full of compassion. We, like Jesus, need to seek the lost, not separate from them.