We all needed to learn how to drive. Some of us might be more “natural” at it than others, but there were still lessons to be learned. Some, we learned from a book or class. Others came through experience.
In Mark 2:13-17 Jesus gives us some spiritual driving lessons. And as talented of a driver as you might think you are, or as spiritually good as you think you might be, these are lessons we all need.
First, Jesus reminds us that He doesn’t need any backseat drivers. He doesn’t need us telling Him where He should go, how He should drive, or who He should pick up along the way.
In Jesus’ day, there was a group of religious people called the Pharisees who were awfully good at giving backseat directions. They thought they knew how Jesus should live. And one day, when they find Jesus eating with SINNERS – they think they know better. This isn’t right, they believe. These people aren’t worthy, they think. But, Jesus doesn’t need backseat drivers. He knows who He came for and who He wants to love. Jesus came for the people we would least expect. He came to love the unlovable and save the unsavable. He came to rescue the ones who have been forgotten, left out, and denied.
Second, Jesus reminds us to check our blind-spots. Jesus tells us that “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners”. Check your blind-spots, Jesus is saying. Do you think you have it all together? Do you think you are doing ok on your own? Do you believe that you don’t need any saving? Well, then there are some spiritual blind-spots in your life that need to be recognized. Jesus came for people who recognize their weakness, who admit their failures, and who confess that they have sinned.
Third, Jesus reminds us to follow Him. Don’t think you can make it without Him. Don’t look for any short-cuts. Don’t try to blaze your own trail. Just follow Jesus. As He suffered, sacrificed, and serve, so should you. Following Jesus won’t always be easy, but it will take you all the way to eternity. Fix your eyes on Him and His cross, and He will lead you to where you need to go. Believe in His cross, trust in His promises, cling to His Word, and you will end up right where He wants you: with Him, forever.