Jesus Forgives & Heals

Open Your Bible

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

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. 

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90 thoughts on "Jesus Forgives & Heals"

  1. Cee Gee says:

    I love what Bailey said, “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.”

    Study notes from FSB – “In the ancient world. Dining together was a primary example of identity and belonging.”

    How much more does Jesus’ invitation mean when we truly understand that it identifies us with Him and proves that we belong to Him.

  2. Susan Lincks says:

    I had to smile at the table analogy. It brought back memories. I am so grateful for Jesus. There will always be people who don’t like others. They will judge and condemn. Jesus is an amazing man. He gives life to all.

  3. mandi says:

    Love This so much. And Am so thankful for the Forgiveness of God.

  4. Micalah Pittman says:


  5. Lily Mills says:

    Loved this!

  6. Rachel Ash says:

    Such a great reminder that we are all in need of a saviour. I’m not any worse than the best Christian I know but I’m also not any better than the worst sinner I know. Humbling.

  7. Leslie S says:

    This stuck out to me as well. It was a great reminder that we owe grace to everyone we encounter.

  8. Cheryl Wissel says:

    The part where they compared the Pharisees with “Popular” kids was what stuck out. How they only want to associate with “holy” people and can’t fathom why Jesus would want to associate with “unclean” people. The “you can’t sit with us” Mean Girls mentality is so toxic and I am glad Jesus showed the way. Showed us that we can talk to everyone and still be holy. That accepting others as they are makes us holy. :)