TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE?
Lord, let me never lose the sense of freshness Your presence brings.
Read Luke 5:27–32
Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners
27 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, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 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?”
31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIf Jesus were coming to dinner today, what preparations would you make?
Author Tom Robbins writes, “There are two kinds of people in this world: those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better!” (Still Life with Woodpecker). The Pharisees believed in two categories of people: the “righteous” such as themselves, and those like tax collectors and prostitutes who belonged in the “unrighteous” category. “Pharisee” means “separated one,” and these Pharisees took great pains to disassociate themselves from “sinners,” so as not to be “sin-fected”!
In God’s eyes, everyone falls into just one category: sinners. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Jesus, the only righteous one, came to do business with sinners (32) and to be the friend of sinners (Luke 7:34). His coming creates a different kind of categorization: there are the unrighteous, who know they are unrighteous and are therefore responsive to Jesus; and then there are the self-righteous who think they are righteous and hence sense no “need” for Jesus.
How we view ourselves determines the kind of reception we accord to Jesus. The unrighteous Levi, having repented, hosted a grand reception to introduce his new friend to his fellow-sinners (29). The self-righteous Pharisees, however, refused to come to Jesus for healing (30).
In what ways are you guilty of putting people in different categories?
Heavenly Father, grant me Your perspective so that I may see myself and others through Your eyes only.
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