Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luke 5:27-32, A Bible Study Devotion. “Look to the Tax Man…”

Luke 5:27-32, A Bible Study Devotion. “Look to the Tax Man…”

Read Luke 5:27-32

“I don’t want to be a Christian, I won’t have any fun.” “Christians are hypocrites; they look down on everyone else.” Ever hear either of those statements? Is either of those statements true for you? If they are it is you, not being a Christian that is to blame. How do I know? …Let’s turn to the Bible of course…

Levi is a tax collector. (Quick history lesson…) A tax collector in these days was a despised person. (So what changed?? Ha-ha) They were Jews living among their own people, but they turned on them and worked for Rome. They would steal from their own people by charging whatever tax they wanted. They were considered the lowest of the low; traitors. They also had a lot of power and a lot of money. They were some of the richest people around. Once you were a tax collector and despised by most people, you really couldn’t quit and go work down the street at the corner mule shop. But in verse 27 and 28 we see Jesus tell Levi to “follow me.” It says Levi got up, left everything, and followed Jesus.

Myth #1. “I won’t have any fun as a Christian.” Levi had tons of power and money. Following Jesus would mean that he would walk away from his “great” living. He knew he would not be able to grab another job quick after being a tax collector. He was not going to be rich and powerful anymore. So what does he do in the very next verse? He throws a huge party. Levi had a choice to follow Jesus. He didn’t think that it was a terrible decision that would cause him misery. He wanted all his friends to know that he left that behind and was now following Jesus. People throw parties to celebrate not grovel in self regret. Parties are fun. Fun people throw parties. Christians can have fun.

Myth #2. “I will have to leave all my non-Christian friends behind if I become a Christian.” Did Levi leave all his friends behind? Nope. He had a huge party and invited them all. Will you be the same person that you were with your friends in the past? Yes and no. You are the same in that you still have your personality. If you were funny, you’ll still be funny. If you were fun, you’ll still be fun. If you loved your friends before…you will truly love them now. You have been supernaturally transformed by God. You are no longer a slave to sin. Your eternal future is secure. You feel different; different good. …And you want your friends to experience what you have. You used to love them because you shared the same activities, interests, shared life together, etc. Now you love them like Jesus loves them. You love them too much to not let them know what has happened to you through your belief in Christ. It is a celebration. You throw a party. You invite all your friends.

Myth #3. “My friends don’t want to hear about my ‘new’ life.” This one is a little trickier. Your friends may not think they want you telling them about Jesus. But guess what. They do. They might not even know it, but they have a desire to know God too. This is one of my favorite verses: Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” See that? God wrote eternity on their hearts. He put a longing for God built right inside of them. They do want to hear that Jesus can change your life. They do want to know what happens when you die. They do want to be free from sin.

Levi throws a party. He invites all of his old friends. It is a celebration of Levi’s new life. He wants to share it with all his tax collector friends; sinners all. And where is Jesus? He is at the party too. If you plan to share the message of salvation with your friends and don’t know what to do; don’t worry. Just be a host and watch Jesus show up. He’ll take it from there…

Written by Chris Vasecka

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