Friday, May 15, 2009

Chapter Two...The Questions (Part 2)

The Neglected...(12-17)

The key verse in this passage..."It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (v. 17)

As Jesus is walking along the shore, he calls out Levi to be one of his disciples.  Why Levi?  He's a tax collector and nobody likes those guys!  Here in Mexico, a lot of people pay for things little by little.  Trucks full of merchandise (furniture, bedding, plastics, etc.) come into town and rarely does anyone pay full price up front.  So, the "company" who sells their product needs to send someone on their motorcycle to collect payments in increments of whatever they can afford.  I have been in houses when these collectors come and the people actually hide from them.  Generally they have money, but they don't want to pay.  If they do pay, it's usually around 10 to 20 pesos (one or two dollars).  That was Levi.  No one liked him.  The tax collectors would charge a little extra for collecting the money in order to make a living.  Usually the tax collectors would charge a lot more than they needed, in turn they would be making a lot of money and be able to live a very comfortable life.  Maybe you know certain kinds of people who do similar things where you live??

No one, including the Pharisees, liked these tax collectors.  But, Jesus chose him.  He chose the person who was neglected in society; the person that no one liked.  Levi met Jesus and wanted to tell all his friends.  Of course, they collectors and "sinners."  This was unheard of for the Pharisees.  They would never associate themselves with "sinners."  And now, this guy who thinks he's God is eating with them.  How could that happen?

So, the question arises, "why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"  Jesus responds with a very thought-provoking statement.  "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

It looks to me like Jesus is saying that he didn't come for those who don't think they need help.  That is one of the first step towards repentance--recognizing one's need for Christ.  If we don't think we need Christ, then that means we're "healthy" least our own eyes.  The fact is, WE ALL NEED CHRIST.  To say otherwise is a road to perdition.

Two questions to reflect on...
  1. Do I follow Christ's example and seek out those who are neglected or not liked by others?
  2. Do I recognize my need for Christ?
Lord, please show me who my neglected neighbors are and bring to light the areas where I need you.  I need you!

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