Devo: Throw a Party for Jesus S2 E7

Devo: Throw a Party for Jesus S2 E7

“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
- Luke 5:27-32

Tax Collectors…Ewwww!

Let’s be honest. Levi was a dirtbag. Tax Collectors were traitors. Greedy, swindling, lying, no good, despised… you get the point. They were in cahoots with the Roman government to collect an agreed upon tax, that only they and the authorities knew. Anything beyond that amount they collected to simply line their pockets and get rich. Think Bernie Madoff meets ISIS… greedy bullies. So the question is easy, “Why in the world would Jesus stop by Levi’s tax booth and call him to ‘Follow me’? And then have the audacity to hang out with him?!” The self-proclaimed “righteous” Pharisees complained to Jesus’ disciples about it. Clearly, they missed the point.

Jesus, Friend of Sinners - Thank God!

Thankfully, Jesus was clear about who He was and why He came. His identity informed His mission. That’s why He came to preach the good news, recruit disciples, and call sinners to repentance. But how did he do it? He invited them to follow him in relationship. He sat down at table with them, a sign of fellowship and respect. Notice who pursues who in this story. It’s not that Levi went searching for Jesus, but rather, that Jesus came pursuing Levi in his sinful tax booth and called him to follow. This is a picture of salvation…this is how it works. Jesus pursues sinners - praise the Lord! In return, Levi left everything to follow Jesus and leveraged everything to introduce his friends to Jesus. Levi threw a party for Jesus.

Jesus, Great Physician

The good news of the Gospel is that there is healing and forgiveness available through repentance and faith in Jesus. Period. No one is beyond the reach, love, mercy, and grace of Jesus. All are in need. There’s no sin too big and no sin too small. But in order to receive the supernatural healing of the Great Physician…you have to realize you’re sick. The Pharisee’s thought they were “healthy”. Levi knew he was “sick”. So Jesus went to Levi’s house. That’s how it works. Have you come to Jesus for the spiritual healing you need? Have you heard Jesus call your name, calling you out of your tax booth of sin? Have you left your sinful tax booth to follow Jesus in the new life He offers? Are you leveraging everything you have to introduce more people to the Great Physician? What would it look like to throw parties that introduce others to Jesus?

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