In the Word: Finding Comfort in Confessing to Jesus [PODCAST]

Urban Cusp in partnership with J Prophet, an independent recording artist, presents “In the Word.” It is a weekly podcast seeking to tap into the transformative power of the Word in culturally relevant ways. J Prophet offers words of hope and Christian inspiration that empower us to meet life’s daily challenges.

Scripture:Matthew 9:9-13
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'”

If you were sitting at a table with a bunch of folks, wouldn’t you take offense if one of them called you sick? In front of everybody? In response to a question that wasn’t even directed towards the person who called you out? I know that a lot of us avoid appearing weak at all costs. And we often take offense or object to the notion that we’re sick or in need of help. But in our passage, the “sinners” sitting at the table with Jesus don’t appear to take offense when Jesus refers to those with whom he’s eating as sick. This is curious to me. Something must have happened during dinner.

Maybe these folks saw something in Jesus or felt something from his presence to make them realize sickness doesn’t mean death, and that there was restoration on the other side of Jesus’ bold proclamation regarding the sick. And perhaps, they were too encouraged by the doctor’s compassion to really be upset that the doctor saw in them what they hid from the world. I think there is a special comfort in being open enough with Jesus to let him see our wounds. As naming an ailment is often the first step to recovery, our confessional posture can lead to our healing. Jesus operates with such a robust compassion and graceful sensitivity that we can feel deeply consoled, not insulted, just by his recognition of sickness in us.

It is good news that we don’t have to bottle it all up. The things we struggle with, the pasts we run from, and the insecurities we hide can all be taken to Jesus. With him, we can open up. I even encourage us to open up with members of our communities who also root themselves in a relationship with Jesus, as those folks can operate as the hands and feet of Jesus here and now. Vocalizing struggles and talking out our sickness, in trusted space, has the power to take the sting away from its existence. Going to the doctor with friends can make the visit even more bearable. But we can also go straight to Jesus in prayer. We have direct access to him – direct opportunity to find comfort in confessing to Jesus. Get well soon!

Peace & Power,


Rodney "JP" Reynolds is a hip-hop artist and minister from Mt. Vernon, NY. His artistic and written content often reflect a perspective deeply concerned with issues of social justice and existential reality, especially as they relate to matters of faith. He is a graduate of Yale University where he earned his B.A in 2010 and M.Div. in 2013. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @JProphetPAP.