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Lesson # Luke 5:29-32
Study Material - Luke 5:29-32
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
29 And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax-gatherers and other people who were reclining at the table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, 'Why do you eat and drink with the tax-gatherers and sinners?' 31 And Jesus answered and said to them, 'It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 'I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.'
The courtesy of Christ verses the contradictory nature of the priests.
Jesus attended a banquet given by Levi (Matthew). By the description of the reception, 'great reception', many fellow tax associated folks, and among them the scribes and priests, points to a very wealthy Levi.
He is said to have left behind everything to follow Christ. That does not mean that he sold all of his property and gave all the money to the church. He did not. He probably left his career, perhaps temporarily during Christ's time here on earth, but after that nothing much else is known about Levi. In Matt. 9:9 he, Levi, is called by a new name, Matthew. The repetition of the story of Levi (Matthew) being called, 'Follow me,' in all four gospels leaves little doubt that this Levi was Matthew. Most likely he had substantial wealth before being called and retained a good portion of it after his calling.
Other historical place Matthew as preaching the gospel through northern Africa and dying there at an old age. Some historical records say he was martyred but the dates and the information has no verification Historians in short simply do not know much of his life after Christ ascended. With the exception of course of the writing of the book bearing his name.
Levi held a banquet. His name now is Levi. In chapter six of Luke, he will be called Matthew. This name change is consistent with many other name changes recorded in the Bible - Abram, Abraham - Simon, Peter - and the mention of a new name being held in reserve for all who advance to spiritual maturity as documented in Revelation.
The facts is, we all have a new and better name reserved for us. Matthew means 'Gift of God.' You and I have a new name on file in heaven, and when we get there it will be given to us if we meet the criteria set forth in the book of Revelation. We have already studied those passages.
Now to the banquet. Those present - Christ, Levi, fellow workers of Levi, friends of Levi, local scribes, local priests, and probably their respective guests from out of town or elsewhere. The banquet was huge. We probably would consider this an upper middle class party.
Levi did not hesitate inviting these various guests. Levi was courteous and gracious. Levi was tax man, working as a customs officer, 'ho-telones', Matt 10:3, in Capernaum, in the territory of Herod Antipas, Levi was not a Roman official, but was in the service of the Tetrarch of Galilee, or perhaps a type of subordinate officer. In short he collected taxes for Rome. Therefore not well liked by the Jewish peoples.
His guests, on the other hand, particularly the priests and those who worked for the temple, were quite rude. They gossiped behind his back. They complained behind his back. They did not complain to his face. Sinners are discourteous people. They did not see themselves as sinners, yet the Bible teaches that all of us are sinners, all have fallen short (far short) of perfection. So no person on this earth (exception Jesus) is exempt from needing God.
The party went well. Folks were eating and drinking (not drunk, just consuming their beverages) and talking as you would expect at any large party. You can imagine the introductions, especially at this party. 'Bob and Jane this is God.' Jane is blond so you might guess as to what she might ask. 'Are you from around these parts?' Just kidding. Folks need to lighten up a little in their lives.
Ok. So everyone was having a good time, except the self righteous types - the priests and scribes. They would complain and criticize. They came to the miracle show with cynicism and Jesus demonstrates his power and authority. They do not choose to follow. Jesus selects a disliked person in the community and he follows without hesitation. Still the priests, whose function in life is to teach the Word of God. still do not follow. Levi throws a party, and now they are critical. Some call it sour grapes. 'Why does He attend Levi's party and not show attention to us? After all we are the priests. The chosen of God! Right?'
Jesus responds to their complaints. The sick need physicians. Some folks know that they are sick and they seek a doctor to help them. Some folks know that they are sick and procrastinate in going to the doctor. Some are sick, but don't know it, or they refuse to recognize their illness, and have no need for a doctor. Everyone fits into one of these three categories. The priests obviously fall into the last. Smart people are in the first category - those who know there is a problem and look for the solution.
Jesus is that doctor. The doctor brings the cure. In this case Jesus Christ brings the cure (Bible doctrine) and He Himself is the cure (the living Word).
The problem? Sin is the disease. The patient is the soul of each individual. The prognosis is not good if something is not done to counter the disease. Bible doctrine is the cure which places in check sin and death. Doctrine is the prescription for a healthier soul, a stronger soul.
To get this prescription, all one has to do is repent, 'metanoia', to reverse a decision, to think differently, to reconsider, to change ones mind. The changing of ones mind is not feeling guilty. It has nothing to do with emotion. The spiritual life has nothing to do with the five senses. The spiritual life deals with the content of the soul and the changing of ones mind is first in attitude - you have to want to learn Gods word, and then commitment - you have to stick with it. Those who seek help, receive it. Those who do not seek help, do not receive it. They are on their own. The jungle is an unforgiving place. And we are all in the jungle. The only relief we have is through God and doctrine, which elevates us up and out of the jungle, or at least beyond its reach and control. New rules guide and guard the positive believer. The jungle rules apply to everyone else.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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