Lenten Devotional // Day 12

Tuesday, March 15
by Jeff Allen

Luke 5:27-31
Afterward, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at a kiosk for collecting taxes. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
Levi got up, left everything behind, and followed him. Then Levi threw a great banquet for Jesus in his home. A large number of tax collectors and others sat down to eat with them. The Pharisees and their legal experts grumbled against his disciples. They said, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do.

Can you imagine being a tax collector? “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I guess I’ll go eat worms.” In all seriousness, in Jesus’s time nobody did like tax collectors. They were considered sinners as they were Jews who worked for the Romans. In other words, they were traitors.

Who in our culture or personal lives would be the “tax collectors” now? My hunch is that to someone, we all are. Maybe someone of a different political persuasion or someone who has a career or lifestyle that you find undesirable or wrong. Either way, we know these people and to someone we are these people.

If the Pharisees could look closer at themselves they would see that they, too, are “tax collectors” in their own ways. Listen to how harsh the judgement is there. As if Levi didn’t deserve the love of God. I know I’ve been that judgmental, and probably will again.

I’m thankful for the “doctor.” Because sick I am and sick I will be again. Amen.

Questions for Contemplation
1. Have you ever known someone who you thought was not worthy of the love of God?
2. Have you yourself ever thought you were unworthy of God’s love?
3. How can you overcome both of these feelings in the future?

God, you are the God of those that we love and those that we can not stand. You are the God of those we agree with and those we don’t understand. Please help us come together in your name, understanding that we are sinners, but with you we are healed. In Jesus’s name, Amen.  

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