Jesus Calls Levi
Comments for Study 11
Memory Verse: 32
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I. Jesus Heals a Paralytic (17-26)
>1. What was Jesus doing? (17a)
* Luke 5:17a "One day as he was teaching..."
* This healing is also in Matthew 9:1-8 and Mark 2:1-12.
* Deuteronomy 18:18-22 "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."
* "One day" -Either Luke wasn't sure of the exact timing or it is not important to his account.
By placing this event just before Levi's calling and then with more objections from the religious leaders that were following Jesus, all three of the synoptic gospels gives us a contrast between a true disciple and pretend disciples. This is the reason why I believe they put these three events together. Of course it is also very likely that these three events occurred in this chronological order.
Matthew is the only one of the three synoptic gospels that places this event just after Jesus had crossed over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, healed the Gerasenes' demoniac, and then returned to Capernaum. Luke and Mark record that trip later. John does not record any of these events.
* "as he was teaching" -Jesus was teaching a crowd who impromptu had come to him during the middle of the week. It does not appear to be a Sabbath since no objection to healing on the Sabbath is made here. All three gospels make this event to be just after Jesus came back from travelling and went to someone's house to rest. Rest could not occur because so many gathered to Jesus' location.
* Mark tells us this event takes place in Capernaum. The gospel writers do not say who owned and/or lived in the home. Some have suggested it was Peter's home. It's possible that it was the home Jesus was staying in. We do not know for we are not told.
>Who had come and where were they from? (17b)
* Luke 5:17b "...Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick."
* "Pharisees and teachers of the law" -Pharisees were the religious lawyers and police. Josephus, a Jewish historian of the era says they numbered in excess of 6,000. The teachers of the law were Jewish scribes and teachers that emphasized keeping the law of Moses and Jewish traditions. (Some believe they were only referred to as Rabbis, not Rabbis Torah.) The Jewish religious leaders where hard to teach as is shown in this event and others. They were not completely lost for a few, very few did accept Jesus as the Messiah. So Jesus kept teaching them for the sake of the few religious leaders that would accept him.
* "who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem" -Jesus' fame had spread greatly. Part of the job the Pharisees and teachers of the law held was to inspect all religious teachers. If they believed the teacher was saying something wrong, they would correct them. It appears that groups of them arranged to inspect Jesus' teaching and work. The average Jew including Jesus' disciples would have expected this. The fact that so many religious leaders came from far distances shows how popular Jesus had become. They probably knew of earlier classes between their groups and Jesus. They also knew that Jesus had good challenges to their objections. So they were careful in their words and actions with Jesus when others where near.
* "were sitting there" -The teachers of that time would sit with his hearers. The people came to see Jesus at any hour, at any day, and at every place. They listened to what he was saying. This, we are later told really bothered the religious leaders. (John 12:19)
* "the power of the Lord" -Power here in Greek is "dynamis" from which we get the word dynamite and dynamic. Lord here in Greek is "Kyrios". Jesus was not intimidated by the religious leaders. The Spirit and the Father were with him.
* "And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick." -Why Luke makes this comment is not clear because, by the fact that he healed the man and others, it is obvious to us that this doesn't need to be stated. However, Luke may want it to be clear to us why Jesus was able to heal this man.
* The map to the right is by Martin, David, 1639-1721, titled Map of the Holy Land and Jesus' Healing Ministry. Its of the Holy Land (Palestine) at the time of Jesus; in the upper left corner the sick, the blind, and the crippled are brought to Jesus for healing, as the woman with the issue of blood touches the hem of his garment. Illustration by Pierre Eskrich (ca. 1550-ca. 1590). Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>What does this say?
* Many religious leaders came at one time and one place. Thus, Jesus' ministry was very popular very quickly.
* God had revealed the truth about Jesus through prophecy fulfilled, healing, demons cast out, and his teaching. John the Baptist had also witnessed about Jesus.
* Most of the religious leaders were threatened by Jesus, whom they considered a country hick teacher. They wanted to catch him in a mistake so that they could discredited him.
A few probably also wanted to hear what he had to say and others only wanted to see a miracle and be healed.
* With popularity comes contempt and envy. Every disciples of Jesus becomes aware that when others become aware of their convictions and lifestyle there are always people who secretly hate them and look for ways to humiliate, dispute, and mock them.
>2. Who else came to Jesus? (18)
* Luke 5:18 "Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus."
* "Some men" -Mark tells us it took four men to carry the mat. Others were with them because Mark states, "carried by four of them" implying more than four were involved.
* "came carrying a paralytic on a mat" -Most conclude that they were friends with the man on the mat, though none of the gospels state that.
* We are not told how this man became a paralytic, perhaps during an accident or violent act against him. Or perhaps he was born this way. If the later is true, then it would in part explain why Jesus would first tell him that his sins are forgiven. In those days any accident was be seen as an act of God because of sin. (John 9:2) If a person was born with a disability, the Jews believed that it was definitely because of sin.
* "to lay him before Jesus" -Because of Jesus' comment to these men we know that they were acting in faith. They had no hidden agenda.
* Some people cannot come to Jesus by themselves because they are paralyzed (by sin, fear, doubt, etc.). They need the help of others.
* Sometimes a follower of Jesus needs others help to bring a person to Christ.
>Why couldn't they find a way in and how did they solve this problem?
* Luke 5:19 "When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus."
* "they went up on the roof" -Homes in Palestine at this time were make of stone walls with flat roofs. The roofs were made of straw bounded by mud into tiles that were laying on logs resting on the stone walls. The roofs were strong enough to carry the weight of several people. Most homes had stairs or at least a ladder leading to the roof.
* Socially, religiously, and humanly what they did was wrong.
* They did this not for their own benefit and ambition, but for the benefit of a friend.
* They didn't accept the apparent reality.
* They overcame obstacles.
* See art to the right by Raimondi, Giovanni Battista, 1540-1630. Jesus heals the paralytic as his friends lower him from the roof above. In the background, the paralytic carries his mat home. Illustration by Pierre Eskrich (ca. 1550-ca. 1590). Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>How would those who were there think of this, especially the Pharisees and the teachers of the law?
* "into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus" -Clearly expecting Jesus to do something.
* Most would have been offended by these men's actions. When the men started their digging Jesus would have to stop his teaching, thus ending the placid and serene setting. Dust, straw, wood and other filth would have started to rain down.
* The Pharisees and teachers of the law would have seen this as more evidence on how Jesus was disturbing the order they had established in society.
* Perhaps some who wanted to be healed may have been jealous that they didn't think of this.
>How about the house owner?
* The owner of the house would have objected greatly asking questions like, "Who is going to fix this? How can my family and I life in a home with a hole in it? Who is going to pay for this? These men would be arrested and put in jail until they pay the debt for fixing this hole."
* Jesus has been raised as a carpenter whose job would have included building and repairing roofs. He would have known the work it would take to repair this roof. Yet he didn't side with the owner of the house. He didn't condemn these men's actions.
>3. How did Jesus see their actions? (20a)
* Luke 5:20a "When Jesus saw their faith"
* Jesus saw them acting our their faith in him. They believed he could heal the man.
* Faith has a natural outcome. Faith has actions. (James 2:17-18)
* "their faith" -Jesus saw the faith of all involved. Jesus did not just comment on the man on the mat. Jesus did not comment on what anyone else might have been saying about their radical actions.
>What does it mean to see their faith?
* They had faith to try again. They had a "by any means" spirit. They did not get discouraged when they failed the first time. They wanted to get their friend to Jesus even though it seemed like there was no way to do it.
* The best way to help a paralytic is to bring them to Jesus.
* We should work together when bringing people to Jesus. It is seldom a one person job.
* Sometimes we can be unconventional.
* Don't wait and calculate.
* See art to the right by Fontaine, Nicolas, 1625-1709. Jesus heals the paralytic as his friends lower him from the roof above. In the background, the paralytic carries his mat home. Illustration by Pierre Eskrich (ca. 1550-ca. 1590). Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>What did he say?
* Luke 5:20b "he said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.'"
* "Friend"-The Greek word here is "anthropos". The KJV translates this word as man. Mark and Matthew use the Greek word "teknon" which the NIV and KJV translates "son". Jesus would have been speaking in Arabaic, the common man's language of the time. So we do not know the exact word he would have used here.
* "your sins are forgiven" -Jesus said this instead of "Get up and walk." At first this seems unusual. Why did he forgive the mans' sins first? Most humans would think that his physical condition was the most important problem. But in Jesus' eyes this was more of a problem to the man than being paralyzed. Thus Jesus teaches me something; spiritual problems are more important that physical.
* "forgiven" -The original Greek is "aphiemi" meaning pardoned or forgotten (Jeremiah 31:34); No longer under God's punishment; To remove or send forth (Psalm 103:12).
* Matthew adds that Jesus also said to him, "Take heart." The man must have been worried about what Jesus and others would do. After all his friends had just broken into someone's house.
>What is learned about the nature of Jesus and what was more important for the paralytic?
* Sin removal was of more importance for the man and the people including the religious leaders than physical help. The same is true today. I and you are sinners. All have sinned. (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:9, 23) All need to have sins forgiven if we want a relationship with God. Jesus is the only one who can forgive sins. (Jeremiah 33:8; Hebrews 1:3, 9:26; and 1 John 1:7) 1 Corinthians 1:8-9 "He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful." Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:53-54)
* Jesus knew why the religious leaders had come and wanted to teach them while also healing the man. This is why Jesus said this out loud for all to hear.
* The Pharisees were self righteous. So when Jesus said this they were shocked even more than the average Jew.
* Paralysis is like sin sickness because sin can paralyze us in may ways. Like paralysis, we do not have the ability to overcome on our own the sin nature all have inherited from the first sin. When we have the paralysis of sin, we are a burden to others. (Romans 8:5-8) For example David was paralyzed because of his sin with Bathsheba. Later, he could not rebuke his son when he committed adultery with his half sister.
>4. What did the Pharisees and the teachers of the law think about Jesus' words? (21)
* Luke 5:21 "The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
* "began thinking to themselves" -They did not speak out loud. Why? Perhaps they afraid at what others would think, or afraid that Jesus reply would make them look foolish.
* "blasphemy" -Speaking against God, undermining his authority, or going against God's teachings. Holman's Bible Dictionary says, "BLASPHEMY is a transliteration of a Greek word meaning literally to speak harm.” In the biblical context, blasphemy is an attitude of disrespect that finds expression in an act directed against the character of God...Leviticus 24:14-16 guides the Hebrew definition of blasphemy. The offense is designated as a capital crime, and the offender is to be stoned by the community. Blasphemy involves the actual pronunciation of the name of God along with an attitude of disrespect. Under the influence of this interpretation, (in the Old Testament Times) the personal name of God (Yahweh) was withdrawn from ordinary speech and the title of Adonai (Lord) was used in its place."
>How were they right?
* "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" -This statement is true. Sin is breaking God's plan and/or way, even the thought of sin is a violation of the law. (Matthew 5:27-28) Sin is violating the love covenant we have with God. (Leviticus 26:14-16; Romans 5:12-14; James 2:10; and 1 John 3:4) When any contract is violated only the offended party can forgive the offense. Therefore, when we brake a contract with God, only God can forgive us of the offense.
* See art to the right by Jerome, Saint, d. 419 or 20. Jesus heals the paralytic as his friends lower him from the roof above. In the background, the paralytic carries his mat home. Illustration by Pierre Eskrich (ca. 1550-ca. 1590). Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>How were they wrong?
* "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy?" -They did not know who Jesus was and is. They did not know his position. They did not know he was the Messiah (Christ) and that the Messiah is the only Son of God. The Son was sent to forgive sins. This is exactly what he taught them, here at the beginning of his ministry. They asked in their minds who Jesus was. Jesus showed them with words and a miracle, an act of God.
* The religious leaders taught misconceptions about the Messiah. They believed the Messiah would be merely a good man. Jesus continually tried to correct this misunderstanding. But they would not listen to him. (Matthew 22:41-45; John 8:58)
* Who do you say Jesus is? If you are relying on him to forgive your sins, then you need to accept that he is the Lord of all the covenants between God and men. You need to accept that he is creator God who was with God in the beginning and the God in the beginning. (John 1:1-3, 14)
* Hebrews 1:3 "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
* Colossians 1:15-20 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
>What did Jesus say to them?
* Luke 5:22-23 "Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?"
* Jesus wanted to prove he had authority to forgive sins because his Father, God had given him that authority.
* No prophet nor priest ever said, "You sins are forgiven," meaning they were the ones forgiving them. They did pray to God that he forgive other's sins (Exodus 10:17-19, 32:32, 34:9; Leviticus 5:10, 19:22; Numbers 15:25-29; Joshua 24:19-20), but they did not have authority to forgive sins.
>Which is easier for man to say and which is easier for God to say? Why?
* This depends on our viewpoint and understanding. For God, it is easier to miraculously heal than forgive sins. For man, it is easier to forgive than perform a miracle.
>How did Jesus prove himself right?
* Luke 5:24-25 "But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God."
* If Jesus was blaspheming, God would have never allowed the man to walk.
* Jesus clearly had and still has authority to forgive sins.
* Jesus is God who can only forgive sins. We can go to him anytime to be forgiven sins. Wisdom is found in trusting in Jesus to forgive sins.
>When the people saw this how did they react?
* Luke 5:26 "Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."
* Jesus glorified God.
* We can follow Jesus' example and always forgive God.
* The people realized that God healed the man.
* The people had a thankful heart.
II. Follow Me (27-32)
>5. Who was Levi?
* Luke 5:27 "After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him,"
* Also in Matthew 9:9-13 and Mark 2:13-17.
* "After this" -Chronologically after the healing of the paralytic while not saying how long after. This was still in the early part of Jesus' Galilean ministry.
* "Jesus went out" -Deliberate.
* "a tax collector" -Local Roman tax collectors worked for an independent tax collecting agency under Roman control. Roman tax collectors were contracted under Roman law to collect money in a territory that would be transferred to Rome. Rome chose the highest bidder to collect tax in clearly defined Roman territories. The winning tax collecting agencies sub-contracted their area to groups of local men who were responsible to collect tax in an area. Rome supplied the tax collecting agencies soldiers to enforce tax collection. The tax collecting agencies and agents were allowed to collect more than the tax demanded and were allowed keep it as their own as a form of pay and to meet expenses.
* "by the name of Levi" -Levi is a Israelite name. Two other famous Levis was of of Jacob's twelve sons. (Genesis 29:34; Exodus 1:2, 6:16-27) Levi is also known by the name Matthew. (Matthew 9:9, 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) Matthew means gift of God.
>How were tax collectors regarded?
* They were considered traitors. They were excommunicated from Jewish synagogues. They were shunned, regarded as going to the worse part of hell.
* They were associated with "sinners". (30) Sinners were publicly ridiculed and mocked. Other people considered sinners in Jewish society of Jesus' day were thieves and prostitutes.
>Who might become a tax collector in spite of the social repercussions?
* Godless people who didn't love God and his kingdom.
* Greedy people who would make money by any means.
* Power hungry people who saw those who had wealth had power.
* Lazy people who realized they could make money easy as long as they would "sell their souls".
* Materialistic people who believed that having goods would bring them joy and peace.
* Envious and hateful people who wanted something over others.
* Poverty often turns people into a "tax collector" mentality.
>What does the passage tell about Levi's social life?
* Luke 5:29 "Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them."
* He worked dirty.
* He had parties.
* He was regarded as a "sinner" by others. Therefore, he was despised.
* He was lonely.
* His friends were rejects too.
* The thought of Levi many many people feel sick when they thought about him.
>His inner state?
* Levi left everything to follow Jesus right away. This shows he was spiritually thirsty.
* He was selfish.
>The conflicts inside him?
* Levi was compelled to get rich, but the more he gained the more unhappy he grew.
* He was self centered, but the more he please himself, the more he isolated himself and became empty.
* Levi had people who suffered because of his decisions and lifestyle whom he tried to ignore, but could not.
* Levi means dedicated to God. His parents dedicated him to God, but he was dedicated to himself and Rome. His parents, if alive must have been disappointed.
* Matthew didn't have the ability or courage to leave until Jesus came.
>6. How was Jesus' calling Levi different from the other disciples?
* Jesus just simply said, "Follow me," and Levi left everything. Jesus continually pursued Peter, James, John, and Andrew until they eventually left everything to follow Jesus.
* Jesus did not include a mission when he said, "Follow me" to Levi.
* Jesus did not include a promise when he said, "Follow me" to Levi.
* No miracle is recorded as to happen at this time as the great fish catch was for the previous four.
* The previous four disciples were not outcasts of society.
* Levi knew and accepted his sin while Peter didn't.
* Levi's job was quit different than the previous four.
* Different words were needed for each men to have their spiritual eyes and hearts opened to Jesus.
>What did Jesus mean by "Follow me"?
* Leave his old selfish life. (repent)
* Stop sinning. (repent)
* Learn from Jesus. (vision)
* Believe in Jesus. (faith)
* Follow Jesus. (life)
* Imitate Jesus. (grow)
>What's remarkable about Levi being a disciple?
* Jesus calling Levi was risky from a social, religious, and political point of view. Consider what other people thought; the other disciples, the average person, the religious leaders, the other tax collectors, the Romans, etc.
* Do not be judgemental according to human standards. God can change and use anybody. With faith in God we can have vision for anything to happen, even the impossible.
* Be committed and teach commitment.
* Call people to be a disciple of Jesus.
* Jesus loves us more than his popularity. Jesus will risk anything and everything to save even one.
* Jesus calling Levi made the religious leaders realize that Jesus was unacceptable and must be stopped.
>7. How did Levi respond?
* Luke 5:28 "and Levi got up, left everything and followed him."
* Quickly, without hesitation or second thought.
* Matthew made a commitment and kept it.
>What would this decision mean in his life?
* He would have no normal income from here out. He would lose all he had gained to this point.
* He would leave his friends and family for long periods of time. He wouldn't know if or when he would come back.
* He would have to depend on God for everything.
* The Roman's and former employer would be mad.
* He would always be with Jesus.
* He would have new friends.
* He would have new experiences. He would see the work of God. He would hear the words of God.
* He would have true peace and love.
* He wouldn't have to worry about bribes and the Romans.
* He lost a lot, but gained much more.
>What motivated Levi to follow Jesus?
* Levi longed for the love and peace of God. He found that in Jesus.
* He made a decision of faith like Abraham did.
* He didn't know anything about the future, but something about Jesus made he go.
>What does the banquet event reveal about Levi's life before and after?
* Luke 5:29 "Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them."
* "a great banquet"
* "for Jesus"
* "at his house"
* "a large crowd"
* "others were eating with them"
* The art to the right is by Luther, Martin, 1483-1546. Jesus Dines with Sinners. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>About the gospel?
* The gospel sets us free.
* Jesus sets us free.
* Darkness was replaced by light.
* Once he experienced Jesus, the truth, he was willing to give up everything.
* His old friends were influenced by his encounter with Jesus, the Messiah.
>8. Why did the Pharisees complain?
* Luke 5:30 "But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
* "But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect"
* "complained to his disciples"
* "Why do you eat and drink"
* "tax collectors and 'sinners'"
>What does this reveal about them?
* They were self righteous.
* They looked down on others.
* They thought that a tax collector was beyond help and change.
* They believed that a tax collector would grossly influence. They considered their food as unclean. They considered them as equals to Gentiles.
* The art to the right is by Weigel, Christoph, 1654-17256. The Pharisees confront Jesus for eating with tax-collectors and sinners. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>How were they different from Jesus?
* Unlike Jesus they didn't eat with common sinners.
* They didn't want to spend anytime with people they considered bad.
* Jesus' ministry didn't exclude anyone.
* Matthew 21:31b "Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you."
* They were willing to clean cups. Jesus was willing to clean people. Cups are easy to clean. People aren't.
* They were worried about being unclean. Jesus was willing to be near unclean to make unclean clean.
* The religious leaders didn't know the power of God over the power of darkness.
>How did Jesus answer their criticism?
* Luke 5:31-32 "Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
* "Jesus answered them"
* "It is not the healthy who need a doctor... the righteous"
* "but the sick... sinners"
* "I have not come to call the righteous"
* "sinners to repentance"
>How was his viewpoint different?
* Jesus sees us from a spiritual viewpoint; our inner being as it is before God's holiness. He sees us with the power of God's ability to heal. Jesus knows the difference between a symptom of a problem and the root cause problem.
>9. What did Jesus teach them?
* Luke 5:31-32 "Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
* "the righteous" -self righteous.
* Jesus didn't condemn them at this time. He taught them the truth.
* Jesus is a physical and spiritual doctor.
* Jesus calls sinners to repentance. Repentance is a start in following Jesus.
* A Christian's life is one of healing. It is not just to enjoy God and those like us.
* Jesus tried to help the religious leaders. He couldn't help someone who believed they didn't need help.
* A person without a willing heart to be with Jesus will only criticize those who do.
>In what way was his Messianic ministry a contrast to the attitude of the Pharisees?
* The Pharisees believed that sinners should be looked down on and trampled. Jesus believed that sinners should be healed and lifted up.
* The relied on the power of human organizations. Jesus relied on the power of God.
* We are called to bring people to a life giving relationship with Jesus. By grace we can help others.
* Others were more important than what people thought of him.
III. Jesus Questioned About Fasting (33-39)
>10. How is Jesus a bridegroom and his disciples bridegroom's guests?
* Luke 5:33-35 "They said to him, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking."
34 Jesus answered, "Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?
35 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast."
* Also in Matthew 9:14-17 and Mark 2:18-22.
* Jesus is the head of the church. He is married to his church. We enjoy a loving relationship, bonded to Jesus.
>How was the ministry of Jesus different from the habitual religious activities of the Jews?
* Jesus' ministry was always full of change. The banquet was unplanned.
* The banquet was an outreach unlike anything the Pharisees would do.
* The purpose to fast and pray was to grow closer to God. Jesus, God incarnate was there.
>What is the point of the parable of the patch of new cloths on the old garment?
* Luke 5:36-39 "He told them this parable: "No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.
37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.
38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.
39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.'"
* Complete change is needed. The wineskins don't produce the change; they are changed. Jesus' ministry and covenant was different than the Levitical covenant, a complete change.
* The new garment was the disciples. The wine is Jesus' teachings (grace and truth) and the Holy Spirit. The old garment was the Pharisees full of the law.
* Levi and the other disciples totally and fundamentally changed.
* We can't come to God the old way because we need a fundamental change that only can come through Jesus.
* Old wineskin Pharisees already expanded and would not change.
* As wine ferments it expels gases. It changes. That change requires the wineskin to respond or be ruined.
* Jesus was saying the Jews needed to change. The Gentiles would also need to change.
* Jesus didn't condemn them. He said they had a change to be changed too.
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