Summary: Levi the tax collector becomes Matthew the disciple
LK 5:27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
Last week Shelley talked about Jesus’ authority to lead - “Peter, leave the nets and fish for men.”
Now Jesus calls Levi, Follow me, and he did.
He left everything - what exactly does that mean? House - job - family - possessions?
Read further - LK 5:29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.
Levi didn't leave his house, family, friends or even possessions behind.
Tax booth & cash, some explaining to do - job that was at cross purposes with his calling -
But he didn't leave his friends - in fact, Levi does the opposite, he does everything in his power to bring his friends along! How tragic that Christians are likely to do the opposite.
Many Christians either fall back into their old ways, or completely lose track of their friends in 2 years
What Levi left behind most of all - was Levi (Levi - he will join Leah & Jacob)
(Matthew - Gift of God) Matthew writes - he saw a man named Matthew (no Levi in Matt.)
Here’s something else, Are Christians allowed to have fun?
If so, Exactly how much fun are they allowed to have? Belly laugh? Movie - Cards - Dancing?
Is Alan Jackson right? Is too much of a good thing - a good thing? If it feels good, could it be wrong?
Almost every good thing has boundaries - cross that thin line and all bets are off.
Creme filled donuts - Bumper riding? Tickling at 40?
LK 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, `He has a demon.' 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, `Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children."
EPH 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Don't be foolish - Understand what the Lord’s Will is
God didn't come to destroy your fun, but to elevate it - redeem it - improve it.
Apparently outside the party sat some party poopers
LK 5:30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners'?"
Can a person be too Good? Too Righteous? - Compare Jesus to the Pharisees
Self Righteous - built on external boundary markers
Jesus - right with God and men - eating, drinking, having fun wasn’t the issue.
Jesus gives a cryptic answer - and one that removes Him from judgment but doesn't fail to convict the Pharisees.
LK 5:31 Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
So they change the subject, surely Jesus can’t object to some Bible approved piety.
LK 5:33 They said to him, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking."
LK 5:34 Jesus answered, "Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? 35 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast."
Jesus doesn't condemn spiritual disciplines, he puts them in the proper perspective
Jesus’ game plan - ignore the “righteous” then give good news to sinners.
Jesus doesn't flinch on his mission - I have come to call sinners to repentance
So this is the big idea of the story - How do I really repent?
How do I change, What do I change? What does the change look like.
Repentance is good news all around - not bad.
Repentance isn’t easy or tasty at first. New ideas take time to grow roots. But be careful that you don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Jesus never said that you can't enjoy being a Christian.
To illustrate this point Luke sticks in this odd parable - the first from Jesus’ lips according to Luke
LK 5:36-39 He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, `The old is better.' "