Righteous and Sinners – Luke 5

We’ve all know at least one of those people, you know the ones who think that they are better than everyone else. They look down their noses at the “little people” around them and think that they are waiting with baited breath for the gems of wisdom which will fall from their lips. Jesus seemed to enjoy putting these people in their places.

Jesus was walking along and saw Levi, a tax collector also called Matthew, and said to him, “Follow Me.” Luke 5:28 says, “and Levi got up, left everything and followed Him.

Levi had a pretty good gig. He collected taxes for the occupying Roman government. He was paid well to do this, but most tax collectors not only collected the actual amount of the charge over and above whatever they wanted. Most tax collectors were hated. So when Levi had a dinner for Jesus and invited all his friends, the Pharisees questioned Jesus’ followers, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” (Luke 5:30)

As usual, Jesus knew their hearts and didn’t beat around the bush but went straight to the heart of the problem. “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 5:31-32) The Pharisees were looking down on these people as unworthy of their notice. I can just imagine the sneer on their faces as they said, “tax collectors and sinners.”

Paul, in Romans 3:23 reminds us, “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” All of us! Not a single one of us is without sin, except Jesus. Those Pharisees had forgotten that they were just as guilty in God’s book as those “tax collectors and sinners.” Psalm 53:2-3 say, “God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt, there is none who does good, not even one.” (ESV)

Jesus cam to save us all. “For God so loved the WORLD!” All of it! He loves every person who has ever or will ever live. God loves us all and Jesus calls us all just as He did Levi, “Follow Me. Leave it all behind and I will heal you hurting, broken, empty soul.” How will you respond?

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