“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.” Matt 9:12-13.
This was Jesus’ response to the Pharisees who questioned Jesus’ authority on forgiving sins when he healed the paralytic with the words “Take heart, your sins are forgiven.”
Who is righteous without Christ? No one. We can be comforted by this fact, Jesus came to save only the sinners. We cannot feel left out or overlooked because of our self-proclaimed righteousness. It is an illusion. Once we come to the understanding that we, not matter how “good” we are, that we are all sinners, the better off we’ll be. Once we recognize our poverty, the Kingdom of God is ours. Once we acknowledge our sickness, we are able to call out for mercy. In the humble calling out for mercy, doors are opened to be healed from our sins. We no longer have to fight to sacrifice the same sin time and time again to bring about our righteousness, but to truly, wholly, and completely accept the transforming mercy that Christ offers. In doing so, we are finally free. Just like the paralytic man who Jesus told his sins were forgiven. He could have just told him to get up and walk, but instead He tackled the root. Because in forgiving the sin, the man was truly able to have freedom to move. Mercy does not hide sin or permit it for the sake of a sinner to feel loved or accepted. Mercy stoops down and grabs the entire, cumbersome, messy, heavy thing and tosses it into oblivion.
So sin isn’t to be hidden and ignored because of mercy, but instead it is to be brought to the surface, shouted out in a desperate call for help, so that we may partake in the same freedom. Then, we who are free, are able to move and extend the same mercy to those who are still paralyzed in their own sins.
May they be brought to the same recognition, the same desperation, the same realization that they are “sick” in their sin and need a Christ.
Being a Christian in this country isn’t equal to being in a particular voting demographic. It doesn’t mean being a nice person and hoping for the best. It doesn’t mean posting inspirational quotes on Facebook and hoping it sticks helping someone to be a better person or saving them. It doesn’t mean using a bumper sticker to be bold.
I don’t want a bumper sticker to identify me! I want to be an extension of Christ. I want my hands to reach out, my feet to move me, and my words to be breathed out as He would in my shoes… standing where I’m at. I don’t want to hide behind an inspirational quote on the internet to passively share my faith. I want to live it out in a way to where I’m either loved or hated for it. I don’t want to be fueled by my political views or my beliefs to how I interact with this world. I want everything I say and do to be fueled by mercy for those around me, the same mercy shown me.