MUSINGS – February 02, 2019
When Jesus was leaving that place, he saw a man sitting in a tax office. The man’s name was Matthew. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” So Matthew got up and followed him. Later Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house. Many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor; those who are sick do. Learn what this means: ‘I want mercy, not sacrifices.’ I’ve come to call sinners, not people who think they have God’s approval.”
The last line of this section of scripture really caught my attention. It was the words “people who think they have God’s approval” that triggered a memory of the term “Over Churched”. You know who they are and may be one, though I hope not. These are people who have grown up in the church. They attend every Sunday and have heard all the bible stories over and over. As soon as the scripture verse is read, they nod their head knowingly because they know where this sermon is headed. And that is the last word they hear until the choir sings the final song or the benediction is given.
The over churched think they have God’s approval even of they don’t. However, it is nearly impossible to introduce a new thought to their minds because their minds have slammed shut.
In Jesus’s time on earth, that was the majority of the scribes and Pharisees. They were the religious elite. Jesus knew it was easier to save those who knew that they were sinners, than to save those who thought that they already had salvation or that they didn’t need saving.
I don’t want you to look at your church roster and judge who the over churched might be. I want you to honestly look at yourself. Have you become over churched? Do you already know everything? Are you really carrying out the commandments that the Lord gave you?
(For further reading: Preaching to People Who Have “Heard it all Before” — By: J. Brian Tucker )
All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams