Day 2

Jesus Forgives & Heals

from the Mark reading plan

Mark 2:1-28, Mark 3:1-35, 1 Samuel 21:1-6, Hebrews 2:11-12

BY Bailey T. Hurley

Do you remember middle school lunch, when the table you sat at said so much about who you were? Like a predictable scene from a tween television series, popular kids sat at one table and theatre kids sat at another. Everyone sought “coolness” and thought “geekiness” could be caught like a cold. But in those shows, there’s always one heroic character who breaks the status quo, mixes up the social groups, and earns the respect and praise of their peers. In reality, though, failing to stick to the status quo doesn’t always get applause. And for Jesus, it was downright dangerous.

During Jesus’s ministry, a religious group known as the Pharisees were considered the “cool kids,” so to speak. They were devoted to the Mosaic Law, so much so that they added more restrictions and limits in an attempt to get people to follow their interpretation of how to pursue holiness. As respected keepers of these laws, the Pharisees created a holiness hierarchy where they sat supreme. So, you can imagine their frustration and confusion when Jesus entered the scene and associated with known sinners, forgiving them of their sins.

On one occasion, the Pharisees caught Jesus dining at a table with tax collectors and sinners and asked why He would align Himself with this group of people—as if being a tax collector or a sinner might somehow rub off on Jesus. The Pharisees could not understand why Jesus spent time with those people instead of “holy” people. They completely missed the grace of true forgiveness He came to offer. 

It’s so easy to think like a Pharisee. I can get caught up in my own self-righteousness, deciding who is most worthy of forgiveness based on my standards. Thankfully, Jesus sees what we cannot: the heart. He said, “I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). And anyone who receives Jesus also receives “the right to be children of God” (John 1:12). 

Unlike a school hierarchy of popularity, or a Pharisaical hierarchy of holiness, Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brother or sister (Hebrews 2:12). He doesn’t need our attempts to appear righteous. His righteousness extended to us is enough. Despite knowing all the ways we fail Him, He forgives. 

What matters is that Christ is proclaimed for who He is and what He has done. He is the Savior who came to forgive and heal and make us more like Him. It is His work that makes us worthy of His presence. Now, we are defined by an invitation to sit at His table, where all are welcome. 

Post Comments (88)

88 thoughts on "Jesus Forgives & Heals"

  1. Brandy Deruso says:

    Thank you lord

  2. Kelli says:

    My heart goes out to the Pharisees and the Jewish people who had been keeping The Law of Moses. I think even Jesus, as a Jew, kept The Law (He did say, He didn’t come to abolish The Law, but to fulfill it) so I can see how they would have questioned Jesus’s self-proclaimed authority, and to a point, I can see why the Pharisees would want to keep an eye on Jesus, gather some evidence, double check their prophecy books, etc. At some point, the evidence would have been overwhelming that what Jesus claimed to be true about Who He Is is, in fact, true. I’m grateful to have had all these centuries in between the time of Jesus walking on the earth and now. I have to admit, I probably would have fell into the skeptic camp and hope I would have become one who did repent and believe.

  3. Kelsey Sain says:

    It’s a reminder that your linage doesn’t gain you access to the kingdom. We are all on the same playing field called life. Living on earth it’s hard to grasp this concept, but there’s no respecter of persons. I am grateful today to be a daughter of the king.

  4. Magdalena Hauman says:

    Mark 2:10 stuck out to me. Jesus did miracles so that they can know that He has authority to forgive sins. As we read it’s easy to think of the story from where we are but if we allow ourselves to stand in their shoes we’ll see it all in anew light.

  5. Paula Strong says:

    Yes I agree very good devotion. I need to remember this. “I didn’t come to call the righteous, but the sinners.” May I never act like a Pharisee. It’s easy to fall into that trap. We need to love more and judge and question less.

  6. Sumire Arai says:

    Sorry about my selfishness

  7. Makenzie Benish says:

    Jesus doesn’t need our attempts to be righteous, His righteousness extended to us is enough.

  8. Consuelo Becerra says:


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