“And hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners’” (Mark 2:17).
While interpreting the verse it is obvious what it says. One way to understand it is all are sinners and Jesus came to save them. Another thought is Jesus telling the Scribes and the Pharisees that they too must repent. A third is Jesus sarcastically calls the Pharisees and the Scribes righteous. A fourth is there are people who desperately need Him. Still another is that there are those who truly believed in Him. It is clear that part of the verse is figurative pointing to something more pertinent and forthcoming. As we look at it let’s see if we can delve into it.
The words ‘healthy’ and ‘sick’ are common terms used to describe the condition of people born with flesh and blood. The term ‘physician’ refers to a person that can treat a sick person. Jesus chose to use these words figuratively to quickly help them understand His work on earth. He heals the broken hearts, darkened hearts and ignorant hearts. If you are “healthy,” your heart is neither broken nor darkened nor ignorant. You embraced Him and His teachings. All your sin is permanently removed, i.e. your sins are not held against you. That you are healthy means you are saved eternally. It is because you are made righteous by virtue of your faith that has been credited to you as righteousness. Therefore, you are no longer called a sinner, but righteous whose righteousness yielded from believing in Him who makes righteous. You are so healthy that even if you falter, you will recover. The health you received from Christ is not earthy. It is full of spiritual knowledge, power, correction and discipline. In all, healthy equals belief in Jesus.
On the contrary, if you are sick, you have never been made righteous. In other words, your belief in Jesus is or has always been perforated, incomplete, insincere or little. The outcome of it is the deeds, thoughts and schemes that come from secret sin, impenitent heart and intense desires. We can all check to see if we are sick. By just asking our conscience the direction of our journey for Christ we can determine our state. But we should not let any insincerity come in the way of it. To simply put it “sick” people are dishonest, double minded and deceiving always looking for a way to satisfy their body. However, the good thing is Jesus is still working to call them to Him. They still have a chance.