“And Levi made him a great feast in his house and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them and the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ And Jesus answered them. ‘Those who are well, have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I’ve not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'”
What a story. So, Levi, the tax collector has followed Jesus and then brought a whole host of other tax collectors to a feast in his house. And sinners is what the Pharisees and the scribes describe this group, tax collectors and sinners. So you have this group of religious leaders who are complaining that Jesus is spending time with tax collectors and sinners.
Father, use us to reach people that are far from You that they might know You and feast at Your table.
And Jesus says, “This is why I came. I came to call sinners to repentance, to give them life.” He says, “Those who are well, have no need of a physician, but those who are sick,” and the irony is these religious leaders are far as sicker than they realize, but they think they’re righteous. They think they’ve done it all right. And Jesus says, “I came for people who realize they haven’t done it all right.” And so, I just want to encourage us, particularly as we gather together in churches for worship to realize first and foremost, what brings us together is not our righteousness, but our unrighteousness, not our health, but our sickness. We need a savior and by God’s grace, Jesus has come and he has made salvation possible for us. And we must never forget that and we must never lose this emphasis in our lives.
We are here on this earth still to lead people who are far from God to God, people who are far from Jesus to Jesus. So throw feasts, do whatever God may lead us to do. According to His Word, to enter produce people who are far from Jesus to Jesus may this, oh God, be the focus in our lives, may this be the focus in our churches, please oh God, please keep us from creating a Christian bubble in our lives and our churches where we’re only spending time with people who are trying to do all these things right. God, we confess, we confess our need for you. We confess our sickness without you, our sinfulness without you, we praise you for your salvation in our lives. We praise you for how you came to save us, oh God. And we pray that you would help us to live so that others might experience this salvation, so that people who even religious leaders might label as too far out there, God, that they would be drawn to you.
Please oh God, give us this kind of focus in our lives and our families and in our churches, people who are far from you, people who are far from Jesus, people who are even outcast in our culture, God, please, oh God, please use us to lead them to you. Please make our churches places where sinners, tax collectors to use the language here from Luke 5, people far from you feel like they have a home because they are hearing about your love. They’re hearing about your grace. They’re hearing about your salvation, which we all need.
And God, we pray for this, for people right around us, far from us, we pray for the Dhobi people in Pakistan, over a million of them, Muslims in Pakistan among the Dhobi people group, no followers of Jesus, God please, please. You came for the sick, you came for those who are far from you. God, please draw the Dhobi to you, send laborers that the gospel might go to the Dhobi in Pakistan. May the story of our lives, our families and our churches be reaching people who are far from you, right around us and far from us. For your glory, that they might know your love and feast at your table in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.