It’s a fun question to discuss with friends. 'If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would you choose?' Think of the possibilities! Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have dinner with Jesus? We have a description of such an experience from the life of Levi. He was a tax collector, and to the Jews this meant he was a visible reminder of Roman oppression. Tax collectors were corrupt, greedy, and despised. They excessively taxed their own people to profit from them. But Jesus shows His gracious initiative toward sinners when He comes to Levi and says, "Follow me." And follow Jesus he does! But first, a dinner party with Jesus as the guest of honor…surrounded by tax collectors and other scoundrels. What is Jesus thinking, eating with these people of well-earned wretched reputations?
Jesus dining with Levi and all the other despised demonstrates His gracious, relentless pursuit of sinners. Those blind to their sin and their need for a Savior were offended. Jesus answered His critics, saying, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17) Just as a doctor exists to serve the sick, Jesus came for sinners. Therefore, He must be with them. This is good news for us, because our condition is as desperate as Levi’s. We are not well, and we know it. But Jesus came for us! Do you see what a marvel it is that Jesus calls us, that He would intentionally associate with us? This is STUNNING GRACE – JESUS CALLS YOU! Put another way, Jesus chooses to have dinner with you! It’s not so crazy that Levi immediately followed Jesus and became His disciple for the rest of his life, is it? That’s the effect grace has. This is the grace with which He calls you.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.