I Came for the Sick…

Old medicine boxes found deep in the Hells Canyon Wilderness

Public Reading: Luke 5:27-39

Same story, different author: Mt 9:9-17, Mk 2:14-22

The Story:

•    Jesus was walking around when he passed a tax-collector sitting at a tax-office

o    Tax-offices were usually placed at city gates, under bridges, etc
o    People would pay their taxes and receive a receipt

•    Called Levi to follow him

o    Levi has traditionally been connected to Matthew due to Matthew 9:9-7
o    Levi does not show up in the list of 12 Apostles while Matthew does

•    Levi threw a party and invited all his friends as well as Jesus
•    The Pharisees and legal experts (maybe the same one’s from the house with the hole in it? Lk 5:17-26 )

o    Questioned Jesus on why he ate and drank with the wrong people?

For the Sick not the Healthy

•    Jesus responds to their questions with one of the most important sayings of the entire Bible

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” –Luke 5:31-32

o    This goes against all common wisdom!!
o    The Messiah was supposed to come for the righteous as they had been towing the rope of the Law and keeping the Faith alive
o    Yet Jesus said that he didn’t come from them, but for the sick that are in need of a doctor.

•    Doing What Jesus Did

o    If this was Jesus goal, then it needs to be our!

•    We exist as a church not for Bible studies, Sunday morning services, signs or wonders

o    We are here to share Jesus with our community
o    We are here to tell them and to show them that Jesus, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, loves them and wants to have a personal relationship with them.
o    Everything we do are a church revolves around this one goal

*    The Bible studies are here to strength and teach us who we are in Jesus so that we will go out in boldness and live it!

•   If we are not applying the Bible passages to our daily life, then we might as well stop because they are worthless as an intellectual exercise
•    We must join the story of God!

*    We meet on Sunday mornings for two reasons

•    It is a time of gathering together in fellowship to worship the Living King. It is a time to stop everything we are doing and say, “you are worthy! Here am I , I’m yours!”
•    Sunday mornings are also a time to practice Kingdom Living. To prayer for each other, to cry with each other, to hug and encourage each other, a place to know that we are not alone but that we have brothers and sisters around who are walking the same journey… in fact, they are walking WITH us!!

o    Doing What Jesus Did!
o    Being a “come as you are” people who not only attend the ‘wrong’ parties with the ‘wrong’ social people, but folks who through parties for them!

*    Not because we want to get wasted! Moderation and self-control
*    We do this because we want to share the love of Jesus with people
*    We want to be like Jesus in finding the hurt, sick and dying

•   This passion for the sick and the sinner has always been God’s goal!

o    Abraham was called to be a blessing to the entire world
o    Israel was called to be a priestly nation to intercede for the world
o    God has always had the desire to bring all people, regardless of ethnicity, gender or age to Himself. To be his people as he is there God!

New Wineskins

•    In the Book of Matthew there is an additional phrase that is very interesting:

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” –Mt 9:12-13

o    The statement “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” comes from Hosea 6:6 where God is telling Israel about their sins
o    Israel was good at offering sacrifices and obeying the letter of the law, but they had forgot the One Who Set It Up, i.e. God Almighty

•    In a similar way, we can forget that why we are here

o    We can began to think that the church is here for the Christians
o    We can get caught up in ourselves, going to conferences, and spiritual retreats to see ‘cool’ miracles while forgetting that we are supposed to be loving the broken hearted, the hurting, the sick and dying; loving the addicted, the single parent, etc….
o    It is like trying to get to know someone by going to all their parties instead of hanging out with them one-on-one

*    At the party, you may bump into Jesus, but there are tons of other people around as well, so you don’t get the one-on-one attention to really get to know him
*    Go hang out with Jesus on the streets, praying for folks at your work, at the food pantry, etc.; Hand out some food, etc… this is where you really see the heart of Jesus. This is where you really get to know Jesus!

•    New wineskins

o    It is interesting to me that throughout the Bible, we see God working from the edges of society
o    Jesus said that those who like the old ‘wine’ will not like the ‘new’ wine

*    Those with the old wine are the ‘righteous’ who are comfortable with what is going on
*    They don’t want to change

o    This is why Jesus had to create some new wineskin or some new coats

*    He had to find some people who were willing to break out of the old way of doing things so that they would listen to Him and not their tradition
*    Jesus did have some of the leading Pharisees and priest follow him

•    Joseph of Arimathea
•   “a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” –Acts 6:7

o    Granted, it is also interesting that Jesus came to the Israelites

*    As in, God didn’t throw out the vineyard
*    The new wine comes from the same vineyard as the old
*    They are connected but different

•    This is 2012

o    We cannot rely on the stories of yesteryear
o    We cannot rely on the miracles and signs and wonders of yesterday
o    We need a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit
o    We need God today!

•    This is hard as it is a new wineskin

o    Some of you will have or are having a hard time in how we are going

•    Our new building

o    This why in the June “Pastor’s Corner” I’ve asked each of you to prayerfully ask Jesus what he wants our building to look like
o    We cannot fall back into our old traditions of what ‘church’ looked like. We have been called  – “Doing What Jesus Did” – to bring new wine into this area
o    The question becomes, are we going to do it? Or are we going to try to fill the old wineskins with new wine?

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