April 27, 2016 – Wednesday
Mark 2:16-17 [NIV] 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.”
I work in a place with a lot of “sick” people. No, it’s not a hospital. But there’s this man who murdered his children. As a teenager, another murdered his parents and sister. Still another who suffocated his wife. No, I don’t work at a hospital, but these are the people I “eat” with.
Now, to the passer-by, these may not seem like nice people. To a Pharisee, they are nothing but sinners. Each did a terrible thing, no question. But I do know them – I “eat” with them – as human beings. I know them as God’s children.
Is my workplace any different than your workplace? Do you not also work at a hospital?
Hopefully not many murderers work next to you, but are there not “sick” people in the mix? Those who do wrong at work? The coworker making sure the supervisor knows something about someone. The one treating citizens differently – based on skin color, clothing, tattoos, or accent. The one who just hurt you in some way.
Sure, they are “sick,” but weren’t you “sick” sometime ago? I know I was. I know we both may catch the “flu” in weeks to come.
So at work today, who will you eat with? Who are you willing to influence for the Kingdom? The righteous or the sinner? Like me, you know people who have done wrong or are doing wrong this very day. Will you know them as God’s children?
Today at work, who will you eat with?
Father, I know there are “sick” people in the mix. Give me Your compassion to eat with them today. Let me know each as Yours, just as I am Yours. I know You are the Great Physician. Only You can treat their sickness, as You treat mine. Let us all eat together today — at Your table. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Chaplain Chris Summers
W.C. Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Atmore, Alabama USA