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

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 15:25-32
  • Luke 19:5-10
  • 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.

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.