Read Mark 2
Innovative entrepreneurs encourage employees to “think outside the box” in order to come up with new, hopefully more efficient ways to do the same old thing. Apparently there are some occasions where reinventing the wheel actually promotes positive progress. If this were not the case we may still have wheels cut from granite under our vehicles.
When Jesus began his ministry as a Rabbi in ancient Israel, his teachings and methods did not fit within the confines of the boxes the established religious leaders considered acceptable. No one had ever done or said some of the things Jesus said and did before. The common people found it refreshing – the establishment found it threatening.
In today’s reading Jesus called a tax collector named Levi to follow Him. Levi left his tax booth behind and followed Jesus and invites Jesus home to dinner. This was highly unusual behavior for a rabbi, and does not escape the notice of the Pharisees.
And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (v. 16-17)
There is a sense in which the physical world that we experience is a reflection of a spiritual world, which though it is not currently visible to us, is actually the real world. Jesus mission on earth was to provide humans with an opportunity to become realigned with that spiritual world. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden as recorded in Genesis, the human connection to God was thrown out of synchronization. Jesus mission, the reason He came and lived among us and allowed us to crucify Him, was by God’s design and it offers us a channel by which to once again walk in perfect synchronization with God.
That is why Jesus teaching and behavior was so different from the Pharisees. The Pharisees were only wrong in that they did not see that Jesus was the fulfillment of what they had been teaching.