Speaking to the Soul – December 17

A short reading and prayer for today

Jesus said, ”For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
Matthew 9:12 NLT

Jesus’ ministry was a continual shock for the Pharisees. They were anxious to obey the Jewish law to the letter and this governed the whole of their lives. Tragically, many of them missed the whole point as they did so. They thought that they were right with God because of the way in which they stuck to the rules. They went to enormous lengths to ensure that they didn’t become unclean and were particularly careful to keep well away from unsavoury people. So when the Pharisees saw Jesus spending time with well known sinners they were apoplectic with shock. They saw this as definitive proof that Jesus couldn’t possibly have been sent by God.

Jesus responded to the Pharisees by pointing out that people who were well didn’t need to go to a doctor, only those who were ill. His point was clear. If they were spiritually perfect then they wouldn’t need healing, but because they were sinners, just like everyone else, they certainly did need a spiritual doctor. The apostle Paul declared “for everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3.23) The Bible doesn’t distinguish between different kinds of sinners because the fact that matters is that we are all in the same boat. We have all sinned. A favourite pastime is to look at other people and convince oneself that one isn’t nearly as bad as they are. Listening to the news can easily induce a “tut tut” mentality which suggests that the sins that are graphically reported are far more serious than anything you or I would do. And that may be true. But the fact is that the perpetrators of those sins and you and I are in exactly the same position before God. We have fallen short of his standards, and so we all need his forgiveness. Only Jesus can give us the healing that we need, and that’s precisely what he did by dying on the Cross for our sins. By taking the weight of our sin upon himself he is able to offer to us a restored relationship with God.


How would you respond if someone told you that they didn’t need to be healed spiritually?


Lord Jesus Christ, I acknowledge that I need your forgiveness. Thank you that you are so ready to set me free. Amen