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

Monday, March 13, 2023

Later, as Jesus left [Capernaum], 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."

— Luke 5:27-32 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus came for a number of reasons, but specifically reaching out to sinners was clearly one of the central ones. His harshest words were reserved for those who thought 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 [1]) will have to minister with the same values Jesus had. Clearly, one of those values is a passion for reaching 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!

[1] Ephesians 4:13-16.

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 concerned about placating those who are already saved and who 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 15:25-32
  • Luke 19:5-10
  • Romans 15:5-7


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Illustration of Luke 5:27-32 NLT — "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."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.