Wednesday, June 13, 2012
“But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?” (Luke 5:30 KJV).
The “goody-goody” scribes and Pharisees are at it again! How will our Lord respond to “put them in their place?”
In the context (verses 27-32; cf. Matthew 9:10-13; Mark 2:15-17), the Lord Jesus is eating in the house of Levi (later the Apostle Matthew; Matthew 9:9), a “publican” (as a tax collector, Levi was one of the most unpopular people at that time!). Many publicans and others are present with Jesus in Levi’s house.
The Pharisees and scribes notice the assembly, and like religious people today, piously exalt themselves. “We obey Moses—we fast, we pray, we circumcise, we keep the Sabbath…. But, look at those sinners ignoring Moses… the harlots, drunkards, and dishonest tax collectors… Oh, and Jesus and His disciples eat with them! Thank goodness we are not sinful!” These religionists proceed to ask Jesus’ disciples why they are eating and drinking with “publicans and sinners” (today’s Scripture).
“And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (verses 31,32).
Certainly, everyone in Levi’s house, except Jesus Christ, was a no-good sinner—even the (self-righteous) Pharisees and scribes (whom Jesus repeatedly called “hypocrites”). But, as Jesus explained, “Yes, they are sinners, but these are the very people I came to save! I am the doctor and I came to save the spiritually impotent!” (Ironically, these “godly” religious leaders of Israel—not the “sinful” people in Levi’s house—would later demand Christ’s crucifixion.)
There are millions upon millions who recognize their lost (hell-bound) state, but religious pride forces them to ignore it. Sadly, many will never trust Christ’s righteousness: like the Pharisees, they condemn “sinners,” but will never admit that their deeds are equally offensive to God. They will go out into a lost eternity, damned forever in hellfire, never to change their mind about salvation in Christ. Trust Christ today—be not content to be spiritually impotent….