Master to Messiah Day 8
Week 2 >> Day 3
Jesus calls Levi (Matthew)
Later, as Jesus left the town, 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.”
After many different healings, Jesus comes across Levi the tax collector. The disciples and Pharisees are following Jesus, watching Him closely. Jesus could not have shocked them more than when He chooses to visit with this lowly tax collector. Cultural studies will tell us that no other person would be a greater adversary to the fishermen that are currently following Jesus. In fact, Levi is probably the very tax collector that takes money from Peter and the other disciples. The thought of eating in the home of a tax collector is incredibly offensive to all those that follow Jesus.
First, Jesus teaches Peter, and the other disciples, about the importance of forgiveness. Then, He gives them the example of accepting the unacceptable and loving the unlovable. Finally, He raises an important issue. The people of the day are worrying more about the outward man than the inward man. Jesus takes this opportunity to confront this thinking by teaching a principle from the kingdom of God. The principle flies in the face of all
cultural thinking within the Jewish system. Jesus declares that He has not come to spend His time with those that already think they are good enough, but He has come to call sinners to turn from their sins. Jesus not only came to save us, but also to purify us. He came to heal the hurts and the wounds that we all carry.
As we walk with Christ, like Peter did, we are confronted with the beliefs that we are holding onto that keep us sick. Jesus wants to remove those broken things and heal those wounds.
Ask God to heal a specific wound in your heart. Maybe you have bitterness, hurt, or anger that has existed for a long time. Spend time giving these hurts to God.
- How do you think Peter felt about being invited to Levi’s house for dinner?
- Think about the people you spend time with. Do you regularly hang out with people who need to hear about Jesus? Why or why not?
- How has God asked you to love people? How can you demonstrate the love of Christ to someone that might need it today?