Levi Called to Follow Jesus
13 And he went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he began to teach them. 14 And as he* was passing by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me!” And he stood up and* followed him.
15 And it happened that he ⌊was dining⌋ in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners ⌊were dining with⌋ Jesus and his disciples, for there were many and they were following him. 16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they* saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, began to say to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when* Jesus heard it*, he said to them, “Those who are healthy do not have need of a physician, but those ⌊who are sick⌋. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
SINS TO AVOID:
- Don’t be judgmental like the Scribes of the Pharisees who questioned the Lord when He ate with the tax collectors. Don’t judge other people because of what they do as we don’t know their stories and their struggles. For instance, how would you treat a prostitute? How would you treat a pastor ministering to workers of a beerhouse? God works in a mysterious way and if you were put on the spot, ask God for wisdom how you can show love and still tell the truth. How we say the truth has a big impact to our listeners whether they will listen or become defensive. Key here is loving the person but hating sin.
- Pride – the scribes of the Pharisees failed to enjoy fellowship with Jesus because they don’t think they need Jesus. They can’t enjoy forgiveness as they think they don’t have something to confess. We must be humble enough to receive something from God.
PROMISES TO CLAIM:
- Jesus came to call sinners like me.
- Jesus is like a physician, he came to heal me especially my heart.
- Jesus will dine with me and have a deeper fellowship if I follow Him.
EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW:
- Jesus ministry focused to the lost and those who have life issues. Any ministry should have goals of helping the needy, lifting the oppressed, & empowering the weak to the point that these people would do the same to others.
- Like Jesus be always ready to teach if opportunity provided. Key is be always ready in your heart, in your mind, and prepare well. As a preacher, my goal is to always have 1 sermon outline and prezi presentation ready for any impromptu preaching. Also be ready to preach even if there is no projector.
- Be hungry for wisdom like the crowd who kept following Jesus but be careful to apply what you learned in your life and not just a passive listener.
COMMAND TO OBEY:
- Follow Jesus like Levi to the point of having a relationship with Jesus and spending time to have dinner together (deeper fellowship requires time investment). Have a regular and consistent Quite Time with God.
SOME OTHER TEACHING:
- Food is vital in the ministry. I heard several testimonies of believers who started with just interest in the free dinner provided but as they heard the Word of God preached, God started to change their hearts until they believed. Ministry is expensive but as the saying goes “A million dollar spent to save one soul from going to hell is money worth spending.”