Summary: Jesus called His disciples to sit and eat and be a part of everyone's life including sinners and that made the religious people nervous and anxious. Follow me is the two words given to Levi and the same two words given to us.
Eating with sinners
We live in a day and age of un-surety. Un-surety that you may put your shoes on in the morning and the undertaker may take them off at the end of the day.
Bad things happen to good people everyday. God never promised that life is fair.
We cannot be scared and hide because that would not be living. Living is fulfilling your purpose and being with the people you love and care for.
The setting for the text this morning is political unrest, spiritual upheaval, people betraying each other.
Jesus cared for people then and he cares for people now. He called people then and He is still calling people today.
Some will respond and some will not. We will see that the invitation is still out there, what we do with it and what others do as we share the invitation.
Luke chapter 5 Jesus calls His disciples-
Those He has called to spread the Gospel. He takes ordinary fishermen and calls them to be fishers of men.
He does many miracles – “I am willing… be clean and be healed.”
He forgives- “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Then Jesus calls (Levi) Matthew, and they sit down and share meals with sinners.
Some have a fit
Some lives were changed by the power of God.
Which one are you today?
Jesus sees the traitor tax collector Matthew and invites him to “Follow Me.”
Jesus says two words to him that changed his life because of his response to those two words.
Third world countries understand this more that the West.
When Jesus calls someone to follow, they understand that it is total commitment and in the west, it is treated like a suggestion and the only ones who commit like that are the full time ministers and the rest get a pass to be involved only as much as they want too.
There are people who are willing to risk their lives to spread the gospel in dangerous areas of the world because they have committed their lives to Christ and committed to the message of Christ.
This passage show that everyone has a callings to reach out to the social outcast and share with them the love of Christ and the gospel that will set them free.
“Follow me”- he rose up and followed Jesus.
Growing up as a kid in the sixties and into the seventies in Milwaukee, I saw a lot of bad people doing a lot of bad things. It was tough then, and I believe it is constantly getting worse and more dangerous. But what I also saw was even bad people have a heart and a soul and need Jesus.
They need to feel the love of God and they need to experience someone that will look past what they are and what they did to someone that Jesus came for.
“Jesus came to seek and save the lost” those bad people the world keeps talking about but not willing to embrace and reach.
Remember when you were a kid and you had pickup games. Two captains and you began picking your team and the good ones got picked first and as you went down the line you get to the point of if you take him I’ll take her and at the end, those nobody wanted were left to get forced on a team. I want you to know that if you were at the end of the pick up that Jesus loves you as much as he does the talented ones and the bigger ones. Jesus loves the bad people and He loves the social outcast and Jesus loves the ones who have made many mistakes because God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.
That is you and that is me! Jesus does not say- If you take him, I’ll take her- He says He is mine, she is mine! I am happy to have them.
Of all the people Jesus could have called to ministry, the tax collector should have been His last choice.
They were hated among the Jews.
The Romans used them to collect taxes so they were considered traitors. On top of that, they made money on the Jews.
They cheated and swindled money from their own people.
Jesus approaches Levi (Matthew) “Follow Me” Matthew response to that was that he got up, left everything and followed him.
What does it mean to leave everything behind and follow Jesus?
Some when He says leave everything- He is calling them to a mission field and literally they will leave everything behind and follow Jesus to another country where he has called them.