Principles of Community Connection

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
- Mark 2:16-17
Today’s passage contains two helpful principles for community connection. Jesus delivers them through a proverb and a significant piece of personal information.
First, Jesus shares a proverb. Who needs a doctor? The sick, not the healthy. You would never be surprised to find a doctor spending time with sick people. Why would we be surprised to see Jesus spending time with people who are spiritually unhealthy?
Jesus nudges his hearers to reconsider how they view those who are spiritually unhealthy. An illness model challenges the notion of the permanence of that person’s dysfunction. What if it’s situational? What if it’s seasonal? What if transformation truly is possible?
Few things can help us connect with difficult people quite like hope.
And our hope shines brightly when we think about our connection with Jesus. He has come for us … not despite our sinfulness but because of it. He came to call us, to heal us, to join us. We can connect with Jesus if we’ll humble ourselves to admit we’re not the righteous, but sinners. Christ’s hope for us leads us to hope in him.
Few things can help us connect with difficult people quite like humility.
Hope and humility. Jesus models both and makes both possible for us as he calls us and heals us. Relationships form between us and God. Friendship form as we see each other in a new light.
Nothing can help us connect with difficult people quite like the presence of Jesus.

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