What Jesus Did! 'Jesus' Sense of Mission' — Luke 5:27-32

Friday, March 13, 2015

After this Jesus went out and saw a tax collector sitting at his place for collecting taxes. His name was Levi. Jesus said to him, "Follow me!" Levi got up, left everything, and followed Jesus. Then Levi gave a big dinner for Jesus. The dinner was at Levi's house. At the table there were many tax collectors and some other people too. But the Pharisees and those men that taught the law for the Pharisees began to complain to the followers of Jesus, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other bad people?" Jesus answered them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor. It is the sick people that need a doctor. I have not come to ask good people to change. I have come to ask bad people to change their hearts and lives!"
— Luke 5:27-32
Illustration of Luke 5:27-32 — "Healthy people don't need a doctor. It is the sick people that need a doctor. I have not come to ask good people to change. I have come to ask bad people to change their hearts and lives!"

Key Thought

Jesus came for a number of reasons, but specifically reaching out to sinners was clearly one of the central ones. Jesus' harshest words are reserved for those "who think they are already good enough." Religious people are often jealous when their "itch isn't scratched" by their church or their church leaders. However, any church that seeks to minister as the presence of Christ in the world (i.e., to genuinely be the Body of Christ) will have to live with the same values Jesus lived. Clearly one of those values is a passion to reach those outside of grace rather than catering to those who have already received it. Imagine if all of Jesus' disciples today could capture that passion!

Today's Prayer

O LORD God Almighty, forgive us and help us change our ways. I confess that the church today is all too often worried about placating those who are already saved and are fussy about how they want things in their church. Pour out your Holy Spirit in a special way among your people, gripping us with a deep concern about those who do not know Jesus and have no hope in his grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

After this Jesus went out and saw a tax collector sitting at his place for collecting taxes. His name was Levi. Jesus said to him, "Follow me!" Levi got up, left everything, and followed Jesus. Then Levi gave a big dinner for Jesus. The dinner was at Levi's house. At the table there were many tax collectors and some other people too. But the Pharisees and those men that taught the law for the Pharisees began to complain to the followers of Jesus, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other bad people?" Jesus answered them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor. It is the sick people that need a doctor. I have not come to ask good people to change. I have come to ask bad people to change their hearts and lives!" They said to Jesus, "John's followers often fast and pray, the same as the followers of the Pharisees. But your followers eat and drink all the time." Jesus said to them, {"When there is a wedding}, you cannot make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is still with them. But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them. Then his friends will fast." Jesus told them this story: "No person takes cloth off a new coat to cover a hole on an old coat. Why? Because he ruins the new coat, and the cloth from the new coat will not be the same as the old cloth. People never pour new wine into old wine bags. Why? Because the new wine will break the bags, and the wine will spill out and the wine bags will be ruined. People always put new wine into new wine bags. No person that drinks old wine wants new wine. Why? Because he says, 'The old wine is fine.'"

Luke 5:27-39

Related Scripture Readings

"The older son was in the field. He came closer to the house. He heard the sound of music and dancing. So the older son called to one of the servant boys and asked, 'What does all this mean?' The servant said, 'Your brother has come back. Your father killed the fat calf to eat. Your father is happy because your brother came home safely!' The older son was angry and would not go in to the party. So his father went out to ask him to come in. The son said to his father, 'I have served you like a slave for many years! I have always obeyed your commands. But you never killed even a goat for me! You never gave a party for me and my friends. But your other son has wasted all your money on prostitutes. Then he comes home, and you kill the fat calf for him!' But the father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me. All that I have is yours too. We must be happy and have a party; because your brother was dead, but now he is alive. He was lost, but now he is found.'"

Luke 15:25-32

When Jesus came to that place, Jesus looked up and saw Zacchaeus in the tree. Jesus said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry! Come down! I must stay at your house today." Then Zacchaeus came down quickly. He was happy to have Jesus in his house. All the people saw this. They began to complain, "Look at the kind of man Jesus stays with. Zacchaeus is a sinner!" Zacchaeus said to the Lord (Jesus), "I want to do good. I will give half of my money to the poor. If I have cheated any person, I will pay that person back four times more!" Jesus said, "Today is the day for this family to be saved from sin. Yes, even this tax collector is one of God's chosen people ! The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them."

Luke 19:5-10

Patience and strength come from God. And I pray that God will help you all agree together the way Christ Jesus wants. Then you will all be joined together. And all together you will give glory (praise) to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ accepted you. So you should accept each other. This will bring glory to God.

Romans 15:5-7

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.