Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Luke 5:27-32

Luke 5:27-32
And after these things, He came and He looked attentively upon a tax collect by the name of Levi sitting upon the tax booth.  And He said to Him, “Follow Me.”  And after leaving everything, after rising up, he was following Him.  And Levi made a great feast for Him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining at the table with them.  But the Pharisees and their scribes were muttering to His disciples while saying, “For what reason do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”  And answering, Jesus said to them, “The ones who are in good health have no need of a physician, but rather the ones who have illness.  I have not come to call the righteous but rather sinners into repentance.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I love this exchange between Jesus and Levi (Matthew).  Jesus sees this tax collector – a person that would be seen as a traitor by most Jews – and invites him in.  Here is Jesus offering community to an outcast.  Levi doesn’t hesitate to accept it.

Do you need community?  Who is your community?  How has Jesus offered community to you?

Second Thought:

Can you hear the judgmental attitude of the Pharisees and scribes?  “Why do you hang around them, Jesus?”  I don’t think human beings are really ever aware of how judgmental we are.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear expressions like these:
  • That music can’t possibly be Christian.
  • That person dressed like that can’t possibly know God.
  • Did you see all those tattoos?  They can’t possibly know God.
  • That person has so much money, there’s no way they can know God.
  • Those people are so poor, if they just knew God they’d make better decisions and have more money.
  • You can’t know God with that kind of haircut.

The list goes on and on.  The truth is that we as human beings are really good at making judgments with our eyes instead of making judgments with our ears and our brains.  We like to judge by what we see rather than by what we experience.  Seeing and making snap decisions are our specialty.  Taking the time to get to know things or people intimately takes more effort than we are usually willing to give.  That’s where we make our mistakes.

Are you ever judgmental?  What are you weak places of not being able to accept others?

Third Thought:

Jesus make a really blunt – and rather rude – point in this passage.  Jesus says that He is no use to the people who already think they are righteous.  Jesus is only of great use to the people who recognize that they are sick.  In a nutshell, this is absolutely the conflict between the religious leaders and Jesus.  They believe that they are righteous because of their biological connection to Abraham.  They are blinded by that.  They are unable to see themselves as sick and in need of a healer.  They consider themselves righteous.  So what use is Jesus?  No, for Jesus to be useful, we need to accept our sinfulness and come to God knowing that He will help us in our unrighteousness.

Do you think yourself righteous?  Do you need Christ?  Where in your life do you need Him?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 5:33-35
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