Our scripture this morning is Luke 5:27-32.
Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?” Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”
Jesus called unexpected people to be His disciples, defying “conventional” wisdom and confounding the religious leaders of the time. His intent was not to anger or depose these leaders but to make them see that they had lost the meaning of God’s law, using it to punish and divide people rather than bring them together under His love. That is the reason Jesus came to be among us, to show us all that we have forgotten this.
Jesus invited all to be part of this fellowship, excluding no one. His lessons were meant to teach that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s kingdom. When we admit we are “those who know they are sinners and need to repent” (v. 32), we are able to receive God’s forgiveness and share the joy of a new connection to Him with others.
Jesus put it plainly – “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do” (v. 31). We have all suffered from our own sin and that of others. We must be “well” in order to help those who still suffer to know the mercy of our Lord and the healing He brings us.
Gracious God, we are sorry for the times we have ignored Your will for us. Forgive us and send us to be part of Your healing love to be shared with everyone. Amen.