Luke 5:27-32 – After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and `sinners'?" Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Changed hearts, minds and lives were a significant part of Jesus’ mission. Would a rich man leave his business and livelihood in exchange for what Jesus had to offer? Would a man who had formerly devoted his life to making money, invite all his friends and associates and throw a huge party in honor of Jesus to publicly declare his decision to leave everything follow Him? That would be Levi! Jesus came into his life and wrought such a change in his mind and heart that his entire life was transformed. He left everything that had previously consumed the majority of his thought, time, energy and passion so that he would be free to follow Jesus!
As we noted, Levi did not do this privately. It seems obvious that he wanted everyone to know about this important decision he had made. There was apparently a real mix of guests, from secular and business associates to the religious elite, were included in this great banquet that he threw. The Pharisees and religious lawyers used the occasion to submit a complaint to Jesus’ disciples. “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus stepped up and answered their question with one of the most convicting statements of His ministry, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” These men were religious elitists who were usually found cloistered in their own little groups of like-minded, self-absorbed, card-carrying Pharisees and teachers of the law. Their sense of identity and purpose did not include making friends with sinners and tax collectors. But Jesus was a physician that makes house calls! Previously we saw people bringing the sick to Jesus, but here we note that Jesus is intent on going to the sick.
The general thinking of the religious Jews in those days was that you just don’t hang around known sick people (lepers, tax collectors, sinners and the like) because they were unclean. No fine upstanding Jew would contaminate himself by intentionally spending time with such people! This thinking created a holier than thou attitude that Jesus addresses here. If you are healthy, or believe that you are, then you don’t need a doctor! If you’re sick and you know it, then you welcome the wisdom and care of one who can change your sickness and disease into wellness again!
It’s still the same today, if you don’t believe you are in need of a change in your life, then I guess He didn’t die for you! If you are persuaded that you’re okay, then I guess you don’t need Jesus! But, if you know that you are sick with sin and unrighteousness, then Jesus came for you! You too can do what Levi did – leave all that behind and follow Jesus!
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Thank God for a Savior who makes personal calls and home visits!
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Dave & Ilene Fetzner, Dave & Sarah George (Nathanael, Rachael), Jon & Suzan George (Hannah, Abby, Jacob, Samuel).
Saturday: Praise God that He loves sinners enough to accept us like we are, but loves us too much to leave us that way!
- Give thanks for Christ’s call, His forgiveness and His healing grace.
- Partner with us in “In Touch” Prayer meeting at the close of Worship Service.
Monday: Pray that others may recognize their need for Christ and welcome His transforming touch.
Tuesday: Celebrate your transformation with others as you share the changes Christ has made in you!
Wednesday: Praise God that whoever believes in His Son does not perish but has everlasting life!
Prayer Challenge: Sing with Charles Wesley, “And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain – for me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, should’st die for me? He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace – Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race: ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, For O my God, it found out me! Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound by sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray – I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed Thee.”