Yesterday Levi decided to follow Jesus, invited his colleagues for supper with Jesus. We saw all that meant for Levi, and today we see what it meant for his culture.
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 have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:30-32 ESV
What Jesus says makes so much sense in theory. Of course Jesus came to heal broken people, including these kinds of extortioners who’ve sold out their nation.
But it’s so easy to forget that in practice.
The Pharisees don’t seem to think Jesus should be friends with those he intends to heal. They act like he should keep a safe distance, perhaps as an aloof example of how good he is and how bad they are. Perhaps if they change their ways, then they can be seen with him.
Christians can do the same. Sometimes we’d rather give to a distant charity than help a neighbour. We’d rather keep a safe distance from people’s issues, perhaps we worry about what people will think if they see us with certain kind person.
This is a problem since we see Jesus doing the opposite. He goes right to people who don’t know him, and don’t act like him. He goes right to the sick, and heals them. The problem is Pharisees don’t see themselves as sick.
This is part of why we don’t advertise this as a Christian resource. We’re not looking to be a resource just for those who already go to church, know Jesus, and like that kind of thing.
If that’s you, it’s okay, you can support and join our team in this work – get in touch with me. What we’ll work on together is building a community of people that includes those who’d never show up at church to learn about Jesus.
It’s such people as that we exist for. Now that’s a pretty familiar group. It gets much more interesting when you consider what it’s like to serve prostitutes, drug addicts, and so on. What does it look like for Jesus’ followers to sit down and have supper with them in a way that introduces them to Jesus? We’ve included one fascinating example for you to watch here.
Question: Why do you think the religious authorities, the Pharisees and scribes, react the way they do? Have you ever reacted similarly?
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