Jesus said, “It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
– Luke 5:32 (NIV)
Having spent the first thirteen years of my Christian journey living as if I was already healed, having no idea I was further from healing than ever, because of my legalistic faith, I then began my trek to Christ, finally.
Sure, I’d attended church, Bible studies, done service, prayed and read the Bible a whole lot. Yet I’d grown not one bit. In fact, I had backslidden in the faith, even if I did spasmodically act Christianly. I had a grasp on the Scriptures but no idea about faith or grace. I had missed the point. And my life reflected that.
I was, in my own eyes, righteous. I really had no business with Jesus. And I really didn’t know how far from His Kingdom I was. Jesus could have no business with me until I finally woke up – I was (and am) a sinner.
My world had fallen apart. Jesus was all I had left. I’d so neglected my relationship with Jesus. I never even realised that faith in Jesus was a relationship and not rules. That Jesus didn’t require me to be perfect, and I no longer had to pretend I was. He was my perfection.
Only when I had nothing left, when I was desperate enough to reach out, not as a ‘righteous’ person, but as a sinner, did I begin to appreciate and experience the grace that saves. The grace that is the easy yoke of Christ, lightening the burden life had become.
That day, and those months of days, when I implored God for His help, I found He had called me from long ago. I was now welcome in His Church. And finally the Church could help me heal.
I spoke with a lady at a church function, who, having recovered from heroin addiction, still struggling from mental illness and much brokenness because of copious rejection, had a pastor’s wife say to her once, “you’re different to us… ” as if to say “you don’t belong here.”
We’re surprised to hear such things, but we shouldn’t be. We’re all sinners.
The truth is she, if anyone, belonged. And we all belong if we can answer this question in the affirmative: “Are you someone who hasn’t got their life all together?” Anyone who can say ‘yes’ to that question belongs in the church within the Kingdom of God.
Jesus calls those who realise they’re incomplete without Him; who recognise their need of God’s help.
Jesus’ help is free and priceless, but we must see our need of Him, to accept we’re sick to submit to His healing.
Steve Wickham holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counselling.
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