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Friday, May 22, 2020

2020.05.22 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 5:27–32

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom did Jesus see, where, in Luke 5:27? What did Jesus say to him? What did Levi leave (Luke 5:28)? Where did he go? What did Levi give Jesus (Luke 5:29)? Where? Who else were there at the feast? Who also were there in Luke 5:30? Against whom did they complain? What were they asking? Who answers in Luke 5:31? How does He describe Himself? Whom does He say need Him? Whom has He not come to call (Luke 5:32)? Whom has He come to call? To what?
In Himself, Jesus offers us joy that sin can never give and righteousness that sinners can never produce.

Jesus’s life-giving words in Luke 5:27, “Follow Me,” convinced Levi of this. Two words convinced Levi to “leave all” (Luke 5:28).

Now, Luke 5:29 tells us that Levi still had things—“his own house” and the means by which to give Jesus “a great feast.” But Jesus informs us in Luke 5:32 what this leaving-following action was. Levi was one of those “sinners” whom Jesus came to “call to repentance.”

Jesus had offered Levi, in Himself, joy that sin could never give. If we are attached to the pleasures that we can get elsewhere, will we be willing to “leave all” for Christ? May He grant that His Word would break us free from the power of such attachment to pleasure.

But we also need to be broken free from attachment to the idea of our own righteousness.

It was “their scribes” (Luke 5:30, i.e., the scribes of the “great number of tax collectors and others”) who complain against His disciples. They ask a question, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

And notice that Jesus doesn’t argue against this description. Their scribes weren’t wrong; they were well-acquainted with their people’s sins. As happens apart from grace, however, over-acquaintance with the sins of others results in under-acquaintance with their own sins. These scribes and Pharisees didn’t realize that they are the “sick” mentioned in Luke 5:31 and the “sinners” mentioned in Luke 5:32.

God save us from such a terrible thing as to look down upon others with a censorious spirit! These men mistook who Christ is, because looking down upon others had caused them to be mortally mistaken about themselves. To turn from sin to Christ for joy, we must know our sinfulness so that we will turn from self to Christ for righteousness.
Whom are you tempted look down upon? Why is this so dangerous for you?
Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry” or TPH179 “Forgive Our Sins, As We Forgive”

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