Luc 532

IT IS NOT THE HEALTHY WHO NEED A DOCTOR, BUT THE SICK!

BIBLE READING: LUKE 5: 27-39

Dear fellow brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the name of Jesus-Christ! Thanks are to the Lord for this opportunity to share this sermon with you. The today’s theme is: "IT IS NOT THE HEALTHY WHO NEED A DOCTOR, BUT THE SICK."

We will focus on the following verses: “Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’”(Luke 5: 30-32).

Tax collectors were not only treated as Roman instruments, but also they enriched themselves by oppressing the people. Levi was part of this group of tax collectors! In the Gospel according to Mark, Levi is called “Levi son of Alphaeus(Mark 2:14), and in the Gospel according to Matthew he is called “Matthew”. (Matt. 9: 9-17) Levi had been condemned by the Pharisees based on his profession. Yet Jesus saw in him a heart ready to receive the Truth. When Jesus told Levi, “Follow me,” he immediately left everything, got up, and followed him. (Luke 5:27) He never doubted or questioned. He never thought of his job. For him, spending all his time with Jesus was far more precious than anything else.

The disciples who were called before Levi reacted the same way. When Jesus asked Peter and his companions to follow him, they immediately left the boats and their nets. They never doubted or asked him, "How will our families survive?" (Luke 5:11) Interestingly, however, later, when Jesus asked them: “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. (Luke 22:35) Both the Levi (who was rich) and Andrew and Peter (who were poor), all were measured the same way. When things were going well; the nets are full of fishes, Jesus asked the disciples to give up everything for the work of preaching the gospel. This is how everyone is measured to see if what he really wants is the best thing that can last for a short time or to work with Jesus. No one can be successful in the service of God without wholeheartedly concentrating on it. (Eph. 3: 7)

Levi's invitation to be one of Jesus' disciples provoked the people. It was an insult for a religious leader to choose a tax collector to be one of his closest companions-It was a violation of religious and social traditions. While the Pharisees were brushing their teeth, Levi was thrilled to be a disciple of Jesus. He wanted even to celebrate this with his friends. Of course, most of his friends were tax collectors. Jesus was also invited as the guest of honor, and he did not hesitate to accept the invitation, even though he knew that it was hurting the Pharisees and the people. For Jesus, the walls of separation were meaningless. He sat down with the tax collectors at the same table, thus showing His mercy and kindness to all people. When the Pharisees and the teachers of the law heard that Jesus was come to the Levi’s house, they complained to his disciples saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” (Luke 5:30) Jesus did not wait for the disciples to defend themselves, but he himself replied: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”(Luke 5: 30-32)

The Pharisees considered themselves to be spiritually healthy, so they did not need a doctor, and they saw that both the tax collectors and the non-Jews were in ruins for spiritual illness. It was Jesus' responsibility to help those who needed the doctor! Yet the Pharisees did not want to believe that the reason Jesus was sharing with tax collectors and sinners was to enlighten them. They claimed that Jesus was undermining their traditions. Yet Jesus showed mercy to tax collectors and sinners not because of his sinful conduct, but because of his compassion. Remember when he stretched out his hand and touched the leper and said, “I am willing, be clean!" (Matt. 8: 3). Should we not also show such tender feelings and spiritually help others?

Jesus did not approach tax collectors to support them in their misbehavior. He did not approach prostitutes to support them in their prostitution. Jesus approached tax collectors, adulterers, and other sinners to change them. Do we do the same? Do we live with people for sharing the message of salvation with them? Aren't we scared? Do we not feel that sinners are finished- that they cannot be saved? Let us pray for witches, thieves, murderers, adulterers ... so they come to Jesus; for he wants to receive them at His table. Especially pray for traders, tax collectors, accountants ..., to be honest in their work. Let pray for us all to meet Jesus.

I conclude by thanking you for taking the time to read this message. You can share it with others. May the peace of God which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be amongst us and remain with us forever. Amen.

Arch. SEHORANA Joseph