Leviticus 4:1-26; Mark 2:13-22; Psalms 36:10-12; Proverbs 12:19-20
NT: “Jesus went out again beside the sea. The whole crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. Then, passing by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him. While he was reclining at the table in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who were following him. When the scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. People came and asked him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins.”” (Mark 2:13-22 CSB)
Jesus brought a new perspective, a new way, and new life. Sinners and tax collectors were the outcasts of society and were considered dirty and perhaps unredeemable. Jesus didn’t come to merely live a holy life and then die, He came to bring sight to the blind and set captives free. He was the physician and He was there to heal the sick, not hang out with the “healthy.” While the Pharisees refused to associate with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus made it a part of His life’s work. The truly unredeemable people are not tax collectors and sinners, but those who refuse to place faith in Jesus and admit their need for salvation. Jesus brought a new way of liberty and life in Him, not an overbearing religious system of endless rules and regulations. Jesus’ way was a way of joyful liberty in Him, not oppressive legalism. Would there be appropriate times to mourn and be somber? Yes. But in Christ, even during sad and somber times, there is still indescribable joy. Jesus did not come to put a holy patch over our lives. He didn’t come to just cover up our sin. The life that He has for us can’t be held in rigid hearts of stone. Jesus came to make all things new. He came to make us new, completely remove our sin, and give us new hearts of flesh that were alive in Him. Jesus did not try to fit the glorious kingdom life into the rigid rules and regulations of the Pharisees. He did not look for a place of compromise with other lifeless religious systems. No, He brought something completely new. A new perspective, a new way, and new life in Him.