The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the need for repentance and Jesus’ heart for sinners.
27 After this [Jesus] went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.”
28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.
30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but [to call] sinners to repentance.”
Note: “repent” is “metanoeia” in Greek from which we get our word “metamorphous”. Literally means “to have another mind”, or a conscious decision to change one’s attitude and/or ways. It means to change the way you think or your behavior.
- Retell the account in your own words.
- Which characters/parties are involved?
- Describe their unique natures/characters.
- What is significant about Levi leaving his tax booth and following Jesus? What happened there?
- What is significant about Levi hosting a great feast, so that Jesus, his disciples and Levi’s friends sat around the same table? What do you think was Levi’s motive?
- Why did this bother the Pharisees? [think a bit before you answer]
- Consider Jesus’ statement in verse 31-32.
- Consider the parties / characters mentioned in this account. Who present would be “the physician”, “those who are well”, “those wo are sick”, “the righteous”, the “sinners”, and “the repented”?
- What are the two consequences of this statement? [hint: what does this imply for “sinners”, and what does this imply for “the righteous”?]
- We often hear “Jesus loves sinners” and “Jesus came for sinners”. Look at verse 32 again and rewrite these two phrases into more accurate statements.
Personal reflection and application
- In which way do you identify with Levi?
- Have you ever repented, like Levi who left his old life and followed Jesus?
- When and how did that happen?
- What “old life” did you leave behind? And how did your life change that testifies of your repentance?
- Have you ever hosted a “Levi party” where you invite all your old friends and shared how you left your old life and followed Jesus? Who will you invite to such a dinner party? When can you do that?
- In which way do you identify with the Pharisees?
- Do you feel uncomfortable around “sinners”? If yes – why?
- What is the difference before God between yourself and a “sinner” a.k.a. “bad person”? [or what make a “sinner” bad in the eyes of God, and what makes you good in the eyes of God?]
- Pray that God will remove any form of self-righteousness and judgment from your heart.
- Which friend/ family member/ or co-worker that “is seek” and needs Jesus to heal them/ lead them to repentance? Pray for him/her now.