And Jesus answered and said to them, "It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.Luke 5:31(NASB)
The Holy Spirit of God was upon the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was sent by the Father to bring good news to those that were afflicted. He came to bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim liberty to captives, declare freedom to prisoners, and to pour out the Lord's favour on all who trust in Him.
Jesus came to comfort all who mourn.. and to adorn each one with a glorious garland instead of ashes. He came to offer the oil of gladness to those who were mourning, and to clothe them in a mantle of praise instead of being covered in a spirit of fainting. Jesus came, so that God would be exulted, and His name would be praised and glorified.
It was early in His ministry when the incarnate Son of God started to choose certain men, to be His disciples, many of whom would be used of God to pen the scriptures for our learning.
Levi, who was also called Matthew, was one such individual, who was called by the Lord to follow Me. He was not a righteous man, but a sinner in need of salvation. He was a Jewish employee of Rome, who was hired to gather crippling taxes from his downtrodden country-men, and who probably cheated many people - as was the habit of those money-grubbing tax-gathers, in the days of Christ.
Matthew was a man who fell within many of the categories that Jesus came to save. He came to save sinners that were afflicted, those who were heart-broken and ones who were shattered in spirit and soul. He came to help the down-trodden, heal those that were captives of the greedy sin nature and free those imprisoned by Satan, death and hell.
Jesus ate and drank with prostitutes, tax-gathers and sinners, because He had not come to call those that were righteous in their own eyes, but sinners, who recognised their need of salvation. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance - and Matthew was one such sinful man.
And so it was, that when Jesus went out and noticed Levi, a tax official, sitting in his little tax booth, He said to him, 'Follow Me.' And immediately, he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Jesus. Levi was so happy that he gave a big reception for the Lord in his home; and a great crowd of tax gathers and other sinful people joined them, and reclined at the table with Jesus. What an irony that this sinner, who was so despised, should become the disciple God chose to pen the first New Testament book - the God-breathed, gospel of Matthew.
However, the Pharisees and their scribes started grumbling at the disciples, and asked, 'Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?' It was then that Jesus answered these legalistic religionists, who were so self-righteous in their own eyes, with these astonishing words. It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. Jesus had not come to call those that are righteous, but sinners to repentance.
What an irony.. Jesus came to save ALL men.. for all have sinned. All fall short of God's glory and all need forgiveness of their sin. All are sick with the disease of sin and all need to be healed.. but those who refuse to recognise their sinfulness and need of salvation, are the only ones He cannot save.. for he who believes is not condemned, but he who has not believed in Christ is condemned already. Because such a man is not honest enough or sufficiently humble to recognise that he is a lost sinner in need of salvation - he is condemned, because he will not believe in the only begotten Son of God.
Heavenly Father, there are many in that need Your healing hand upon their lives. Thank You that You came to heal the broken hearted and set the captives free from their bondage of sin. Father we pray that many would recognise their brokenness and diseased lives, and admit their need of Your touch upon their lives. Thank You that Christ died to pay the terrible price for our sin, and that through His blood we are healed and made whole. Use me to share this good news with those with whom I come in contact today - this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.
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