Jesus is Looking for You

Luke 5

In this time of year, the wider church celebrates Lent. In this period leading up to Easter, we take time to examine ourselves, our sins, our motives, our hearts and souls, and recognize that it was for our sins that Christ died, not only to free us but to change us. While the reading in Numbers is very important, and I am glad you are reading the Old Testament, I want us to focus on Christ this week and his life as portrayed by Luke. 

There are two stories in Luke 5 to which I want you to pay particular attention. Let’s look first at Luke 5:1-11. Jesus is already an established teacher, a rabbi, and has a ministry going. He is probably on the lookout for disciples. Disciples were usually chosen from a core group of aspiring, promising young men. They would have excelled at learning the language, would be able to read the Torah, memorize the Torah, study and debate the Torah. In the learning institutions, those who were not promising, or who had to work with their parents to feed the family, were sent home to learn the family trade. So Jesus meets up with a guy named Simon. We might recognize him more from his nickname, Peter. Simon is a fisherman, who has his lot in life, knows what his station is. He KNOWS he’s not meant to be a rabbi’s disciple. He KNOWS he wasn’t smart enough or rich enough to make the cut. But Jesus isn’t looking for the richest or the smartest. Jesus says “cast out your net” and Simon says “because you say so.” They’d been fishing all night. They ain’t got nuthin’, as we say in the South. (SC represent) These good ol’ country boys know what they are doing, but Simon likes Jesus, trusts him, and does what he says. 

And that is what Jesus is looking for. 

And there is a miracle.

So many fish the nets tore, and the ships sank, and it took two crews. 

That’s a lotta fish. 


Simon, James, and John were all amazed and astonished, and Jesus said “You will now fish for people.”

And they pulled up their boats. 

Left everything. 

And followed him. 


Later on in the chapter, we read about Levi the tax collector. We may know him better by the name Matthew, who we think is the same guy. Now tax collectors were hated. Jews despised by their brothers and sisters because they were thought of as traitors. They were Jews, collecting money from other Jews for Rome, the occupying military force. To get rich, they would overcharge the Jews and keep the rest, which was legal, but tantamount to stealing. And this traitorous thief is sitting in his tax booth. Jesus sees this guy and says two words to him : “Follow me”


Levi followed him. 

Left everything. 

Right there in the booth. 

Levi is amazed and astonished that a holy rabbi would look for him, would choose him to follow, would send him out to work. 


A whole lotta tax collectors and sinners heard this good news that God’s kingdom was open to them. Jesus said that he came to call the sick, and heal them.  He healed the sick there that night, and it was miraculous. 

Jesus is looking for you. 

He is seeking those who will listen, whether it is to let down a net or to let down your guard. The call will always be “Follow me.” If you listen, he will accept you.  We know we aren’t rich enough. He KNOWS we are. (Colossians 1:27) We know we aren’t smart enough. He KNOWS we are. (1 Corinthians 1:25) We know we aren’t good enough. He KNOWS we are. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He says to you today: “Follow me.” Pull up the boat, get out of the booth. Leave EVERYTHING behind. And follow him. 

-Jake Ballard

Read or listen to today’s Bible reading at BibleGateway.com – Numbers 29-30 and Luke 5

Jesus’ Target Audience

Luke Chapter Five – Jesus’ First Disciples

Luke 5 10 11

Soon after Jesus began his earthly ministry, Jesus went out to find some people who would follow him.  One would think that Jesus would choose his followers from among the elite scholars.  After all, shouldn’t the king of kings have an elite group of close followers?  However, Jesus did not go that route.  Instead, we see in Luke chapter five, that Jesus chose the likes of fishermen and tax collectors to be his select, close followers.  Fishermen had very little to no education, and they would have been close to no one’s first choice when starting a revolution.  Tax collectors, on the other hand, had a poor reputation, as they often tried to cheat people out of their money.  Therefore, tax collectors would have been close to no one’s first choice either.  For whatever reason, Jesus chose this group to be his followers and to take over when he was to ascend to heaven.

 

A big part of Jesus’ ministry revolved around healing people of their ailments.  In chapter five, Jesus heals both a leper and a paralytic.  One would think that after Jesus got done healing people, he would want them to go tell everybody of the great miracle.  However, the opposite is true.  Often after Jesus would heal somebody, he would tell them to tell no one!  We see this in verse 14, as Jesus told the leper to tell no one.  Now, why would Jesus not want others to share of the great wonders Jesus had done?  The answer is because Jesus’ time to die had not yet come.  Jesus still had much to accomplish before his death.  If word had spread too much, they would have had him killed sooner.

 

After Jesus had called Levi, a tax collector, to be one of his disciples, Jesus went to eat with the tax collectors.  This caused the Pharisees to grumble and ask Jesus why in the world he would eat with the sinful tax collectors. Jesus replies, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance,” (Luke 5:31).  Here Jesus says that his target audience are the sinners rather than the righteous.

 

Too often in church, our focus is on the righteous rather than the sinners.  We design our services, classes, and events for those that are churched and not unchurched.  Perhaps we should consider the words of Jesus in Luke 5:31. Perhaps we should put our focus on the sinners, rather than the righteous.  It is those who are lost and sinners that really need the church!  Our churches should contain people who are not currently saved but are on the road to salvation.  Jesus says it is these kinds of people that he came to call to repentance.  Our target audience should reflect that of Jesus’ target audience.  At the same time, we do need strong Christians within the church to bring up the unchurched.  There is a healthy balance somewhere that we all must find.

 

Kyle McClain

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