Mark 2:15-17:

“While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 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 healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

A few years ago, a movie called Hacksaw Ridge came out detailing the life of Desmond Doss, a pacifist during World War II who refused to touch a weapon but served in the Pacific theater as a combat medic. In April 1945, Doss and his battalion fought along the ridge where Doss was credited for saving the lives of 75 soldiers during one of the most horrific days of fighting and was later awarded the Medal of Honor upon his return to the states. Despite the dangers faced, he continued to venture into areas with wounded and hurting people in order to bring them rescue.

As we witness in the story of Jesus dining with the tax collectors and other sinners, we see a willingness from Jesus to enter into (and seek out!) the company of the wounded and broken in order to bring about restoration and healing. We see Jesus enter into people’s brokenness and pain and ultimately bring spiritual restoration and salvation to many.

In the battlefield of the world for the hearts and souls of people, there are many who are being wounded. There are many who are hurt. What do we see Jesus doing in these situations? We see him entering into people’s brokenness and embracing them with grace and truth. You see, Jesus is not afraid of people’s pain but I admit, sometimes I am. Why are we afraid of other people’s pain? Maybe it’s because we try to carry the pain of others only meant to be carried by Jesus. Maybe it’s because we haven’t allowed Jesus to enter into our own pain to experience the healing and peace that only he brings. We are people of pain, it’s the effects of living in a broken world. We love, we lose, we lament and yet Jesus enters into our pain and whispers to us tenderly that there is hope.

The world is a spiritual and emotional battlefield that is full of broken people desperate for hope. You and I, we are the medics. We are those who allow Jesus to enter into our own pain and brokenness to experience healing that we then offer to others. May we be reminded of this sacred duty to be bringers of hope in the presence of pain.

Seth Redden 
HS Pastor

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