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, 17)
When we are sick, we call a doctor. When we are healthy, we might not explicitly need a doctor; we may take their guidance for the prevention of diseases or for having a healthy body and mind.
Now Jesus’ says he has come to call the sinners and not the righteous. One way of interpreting this is by stating that righteous means “self-righteous”, who think they are in a good state and have all the resources to continue in that state. So there is no point in inviting/calling them and wasting time; some of the Pharisees/scribes belonged to this category. But many of us, at least on some occasions in our life, surely belongs to this category too.
I was having a course on Vulnerability and Spiritual Experiences. I am not going to describe the course, but the topic of vulnerability. Rollo May, a psychologist, and psychoanalyst, once said, “no human being can stand the perpetually numbing experience of his own powerlessness.” Each of us has our own strange (or difficult) vulnerabilities, which we may not like to show to the outside world. This is not limited to persons who are terribly sick or handicapped etc; but also to very normal and healthy persons.
The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once said that human beings have “a three-fold urge: (i) to live, (ii) to live well, and (iii) to live better. Normally we think that our vulnerabilities (or in common language, brokenness is also a good word) prevent us from doing all three of the above things. Probably the quote below shows an alternative thought-pattern recognized by many wise people. (For a wonderful ted talk on vulnerability by Brené Brown, click here.
Now we come back to the line of Jesus, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” I think the difference between both of the categories of people is the ability to accept their vulnerabilities. (I think there is much more than the moral claims of sinner and non-sinner). This acceptance opens up possibilities. Till you accept that, all talk by Jesus is useless. Because you don’t need any of them.
If I say I am not vulnerable…. If I say I am perfect… I think I am not a Christian.
Probably an immediate challenge and something to think about is the verse from the gospel of Mathew, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” I leave with the question…
Is the perfect father of Jesus, a scientifically precise and perfect father or a father who harmonizes vulnerabilities into beauty ??