27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”Luke 5:27-32
Who needs repentance except those who have lost their way? Levi, who was also called Matthew, was a tax collector. The Jewish people didn’t look too fondly on one who had taken up taxing his own people for the Romans. Yet, that is where Jesus found Matthew.
I remember the day that I first found a desire to know God and have a different life than the one I was living. I was 19, living in California, couch hopping from one place to another. I was homeless and on drugs. Lost and in need of saving. A whisper of “come to Me” came over me as I sat on that back porch under a moonlit sky. I gazed to the heavens and asked for the first time if God was real. I asked for help. I didnt know what to do, how to change, or how to fix my life. I knew I wasn’t going to make it like this.
Just as Jesus had invited Matthew to follow Him. He also called me. Maybe He is also calling you.
Sometimes we make repentence out to be a terrible thing, but repentance is a freedom tool. Honest repentance to God, changes everything! When we are going one way and completely lost our understanding of how we got here. It can feel overwhelming and disorienting. Sometimes we even panic and run faster into the dark. But by God’s grace, we can repent and ask God for help. That pivotal moment of turning is His grace. It comes flooding in like a light bulb to shine the way out.
It’s humbling to think that Jesus picked us out of the sea of humans, to call them to repentance, and follow Him. Maybe even like Matthew, we are surprised by this invitation. The Pharissee’s sure were caught off gaurd by a Rabbi who would be with such messed up people and sinners and tax collectors. But God is a God who desires to make new creations. Sinners made whole. Who comes to the doctor except those who need healing? Certainly not those who think they are well and just fine.
Father, thank you for the reminder of where I once was. Lord, I dont want to act like I’ve got it all together and forget that you are my help in time of need. I need you, Lord, every day, every hour, I need you! I would get lost in my own mind and stay stuck on stuff for days, on things that are not my responsibility, nor mine to fix if I did not have your light and truth. Lord, direct my path, give me wisdom, teach me more about You. I repent of going my own way, of thinking I know what to do, and how to do it. Lord, help me slow down and ask, yeild and listen, trust and obey. In Jesus name, Amen.
All is grace,