Do you want to be somebody significant?
Luke 5:27-32: 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, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 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’?” 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.”
Early this morning I led a church service and my brief message was around how Jesus is interested in the poor and the destitute, and therefore so should we be. As I drove to work after the service God got me thinking. I was thinking about how so many people, including me, are seeking significance. We want to be something and someone. We want to look good, have an amazing job or meaningful occupation, be a brilliant parent or friend, and be respected by those around us. And I am no different. God is working on me. I want to be significant and important, to have a meaningful life full of rewards and interesting experiences.
And then I arrive at work, and open the Bible to Luke 5:27-32 and I am immediately challenged. My desire to be significant and important is actually a desire to be righteous and healthy. And yet I read here that Jesus is seeking after me, calling me not because I am righteous, significant or important, but because I am a sinner. I want to succeed, to live a significant life, but I realise now that my motivation is more about me and my needs rather than God’s needs. If I am brutally honest, I am pursuing my own goals in life way too much.
Jesus approaches Levi, the tax collector, someone hated in his community. His job was to take money off people, and many of the tax collectors could be particularly cruel in how they went about this. No one liked a tax collector. And who does Jesus spend time with? The one person the community hated. It was possible that even by associating with Levi, Jesus’ reputation could have been damaged. But Jesus didn’t care, He went to this sinful man and said something quite amazing: “Follow me,”. In the greek ‘follow’ means to imitate. So Jesus was saying, Levi, come with me and be like me. And Jesus is saying to me, come with me and be like me.
So I can seek significance, be someone special, but only through being like Jesus. Wow. Be thinking about that one for quite a while.. wow.
PS – I am having an unplugged day tomorrow so no internet at all!
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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan
The Portion for next two days is: Job Chapters 9-10 and Isaiah Chapters 23-28
To access the complete plan for the year click here.