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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

THAT SPACE IN YOUR HEART


 

Today’s Reading:

Luke 5:27-32 [Matthew 9:9-17, Mark 2:14-22]

“I did is not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repent [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].” (Luke 5:32, AMP)

 

Jesus, out in the towns, saw a tax collector named Levi, who is most often called Matthew in the Gospels. Many people in the Bible have two names – one for before they met Jesus and one for after. Simon became Peter. Saul became Paul. Levi becomes Matthew. Levi means “joined”, whereas Matthew means “gift of God.” From this passage in Luke 5, Levi receives God's most excellent gifts. He sat there in his booth; taxing people who came to hear Jesus teach; he also got to Listen to the teaching of Jesus for Himself. We should note that tax-gatherers were not allowed to go into the temple to listen to the Word of God taught, yet Levi listened to truths from Jesus that he had never heard before. All his life, he thought God couldn't forgive him. But Jesus taught the exact opposite. Jesus asks Levi to become one of his disciples! Levi never dared dream that Christ would recognise him as such. He never dared dream that Christ would speak to him. He never dared dream that Christ would invite him to become a follower.


Many people think they have sinned too much to have Jesus love them. But He does. Some believe they have made too many mistakes or sins to have Jesus notice them or care about them. But He does. Jesus doesn’t care that society hates Levi for collecting tax from them. Jesus doesn’t care that Levi is a wretched sinner. He wants Levi to follow him. Levi responded in verse 28 by “leaving everything behind and got up and began to follow Jesus [as His disciple]” AMP. This is nearly similar to what we saw Peter do when Jesus called him to be a fisher of men in Luke 5:11; Peter, James, and John leave all to follow Jesus. The cost of leaving everything behind to follow Jesus was well worth it for Levi because money could not fill the hole in his life, but Jesus could.


The question is, “what would you give up to follow Jesus? Are there things in the life you have been searching for? Are you searching for what you thought would give you fulfilment and satisfaction. It doesn’t matter what is in your past. It doesn’t matter what is in your life right now. Jesus wants you to follow him. It doesn’t matter what other people think of you. You are someone He wants by His side. You don’t have to fix your life before you follow Him. Just follow Him right now. This is what Levi did. He left all and followed Christ. In verses 31-32, Jesus draws an analogy between the sick and sinners. When we are sick, we go to the doctor to seek help. We expect the doctor to give us medicine or tell us something to change our lifestyle to help our health improve. Similarly, Jesus has come to help those who know they are sinners. Just as healthy people don’t need doctors, righteous people don’t need repentance. Of course, there are lots of sick people out there who think they are just fine. And similarly, there are lots of sinners out there who think they are pretty good people.


Some people realise that although they sin intentionally, they’re not that bad. And to Jesus, most of

the time, does not focus on sin at all; He just want many of those who already know that they needed His help. This is because it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people of their sin (John 16:8). And the Holy Spirit does this through our conscience and the Word of God. Jesus is not trying to convince people that they need His help. But rather focuses on those who already know they need help. Jesus goes right for the root of our problem and gives them the cure. He tells sinners that their problem is sin, and they need to stop sinning. When sinners come to Him for help, He tells them to repent. Jesus wants you to follow Him no matter what sin is in your life right now; He doesn’t want you to remain in that sin. He wants you to become aware of it and repent of it. Jesus wants you to follow Him. Will you respond to the call? It begins with recognising you are a sinner and that you must turn from your sin to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. This passage is not about other people. It is about me. It is about you. Don’t deny that you are a sinner. Don’t ignore or excuse sin, either. Many people recognise that they sin, but it’s too much trouble to deal with it now, or they figure that it’s not so bad because other people do worse things. Don’t try to treat yourself either. There is no home remedy for sin. It would help if you went to the great physician, Jesus Christ. And do you want to know what He will tell You? Repent.


In conclusion, let each one of us humbly repent of the sin that is in our own lives and leave all to follow Jesus on the path of discipleship. Let’s make sure that we associate with the people Jesus would associate with. He loved to spend time with people that society and “religious” people rejected. Ask yourself, “Who are the people that probably won’t come to church on Sunday, and how can you show Christ’s love to them?” There are many people that all of us come into contact with who may never come to church unless we go to them first. That is what Jesus did. If we are Christ’s followers, we will do the same thing. Christ is teaching his disciples how to be fishers of men.


What would you give up following Jesus?


OLUFEMI AMORAN


 

Prayer:

  1. Dear Lord, help to change my old way of thinking. Grant unto me your grace so that I will turn away from sin, seek you and your righteousness, in Jesus name.

  2. Father, Let your peace reign in every Christian home, in Jesus name.

  3. Father, let your will for our nation, Nigeria, be done, in Jesus name.

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