A study of Luke 5:27-32
What did Jesus mean by ""I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."
~note Levi was actually the apostle Mathew
A Fresh Start
(Feed back from a summon by Pastor Simmons by my-self)
1- Doesn't mean you get religion-
2-Doesn't mean you have to be a better person.
3-Doesn't mean you admit you need another.Luke 5:8
4-DOES mean you stop doing what is wrong. Luke 5:32
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,
5:28. In response to the invitation of Jesus, Levi left all, rose up, and followed Him.
(This is nearly identical to the response of Peter, James, and John when Jesus called them to be fishers of men in Luke 5:11. They left their boats, nets, and record catch of fish to follow Jesus. Levi does the same thing. Levi recognized a good opportunity when he saw it. The cost of leaving everything behind to follow Jesus was well worth it.
Once Levi left his booth, it was like turning in his resignation. Very likely, the tax gathering booth did not stay empty for long. The position was probably filled within a day. Although being a tax gatherer cost you your friends and family and the respect of your neighbors, it gave you great wealth, and there are always people who will do almost anything for money. In that society, just like in ours, there were men who were willing to be seen as a traitor if they could just become rich. Though tax collectors were hated, there were always people ready and waiting to become a tax collector.
Luke says nothing here about the issue of Levi’s eternal destiny. The text does not indicate one way or the other that Levi has believed in Jesus for eternal life.)
5:29. Though Levi had left his tax booth behind, he still was able to invite Jesus to a great feast in his own house.
(Though he had left his job, he had not given up his house or all his money. He had simply stopped working as a tax collector. And one of the first things he does is host a party for Jesus. This is the first of many parties in Luke’s gospel, and as with all parties, is a sign of the new era being initiated by Jesus (Wright 2004:64).
Also at this party were a great number of tax collectors and others. Being socially outcast, tax collectors and others like them were the only type of people Levi knew. He didn’t know any upright and socially acceptable people, as they would not want him for a friend. Levi and his companions are not the “moral upper crust of society” (Bock 1994:495).
In Jewish thinking, tax collectors were on the same level as prostitutes (Matt. 21:32). The religious people and the upright citizens didn’t want to have anything to do with either, but Jesus loves both and shows compassion toward both. Here we see Him sharing a meal with tax collectors. Being religious outcasts as they were, it is unlikely that the food was ceremonially pure according to the Pharisaical standards. Jesus, however, appears to not be overly concerned about the religious purity of the food He ate. )
5:30. As a result of Jesus eating a meal with tax collectors, the scribes and Pharisees complained.
(The word complained (Gk. gogguzein) could also be translated “grumbled.” While it is a rare word in the New Testament (only here and in Matt 20:11), it is used frequently in the Septuagint when the Israelites grumbled against God and Moses while wandering in the wilderness (Beale 2007:293; Evans 2003:193).
Here, they grumble about Jesus eating with tax collectors. Jewish religious leaders went to great pains to avoid sin or even the appearance of sin. They felt that sharing a meal with sinful people gave the impression that they were condoning the sin. But their separation went beyond just sharing meals. They did business as much as possible only with other Pharisees. When they traveled, they stayed with other Pharisees. Talking with a sinner or touching a sinner was bad enough. But sitting down and sharing a meal with them was off limits. Sitting and eating with a sinner was the same thing as endorsing the sin (Bock 1994:495 n13).
Furthermore, while even the most observant Jew could eat with a Gentile in the Jewish home, no observant Jewish person would eat in the home of a Gentile or a sinning Jewish person, since it was impossible to know if the home was ritually pure or if the food was prepared according to kosher standards (Ford 1984:70).
So when the Pharisees see Jesus eating at the house of Levi, they were concerned. He was not behaving as a Rabbi should. Furthermore, they had heard some of His teaching about the Kingdom of God, and were concerned that Jesus was including all the wrong people in it (Wright 1996:273). And so they complain to Jesus and His disciples. This indicates that the disciples had also gone with Jesus to this meal. The Pharisees may have approached the disciples rather than Jesus because they had recently been bested by Him in such dialogue before. Another possibility, suggested by Chrysostom, is that they were trying to instill doubt and disloyalty in the hearts of the disciples (cf. Shepard 1939:146).
The criticism of the religious leaders was that Jesus and the disciples ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners. Whoever the “others” (5:29) at the feast were, the scribes and Pharisees viewed them assinners. The term (Gk. hamartōlōn) refers anyone who recognizes their sin, and not just to the worst of sinners (Bock 1994:496). The term is not overly critical or harsh, but the Pharisees still went to great lengths to separate themselves and their disciples from such people. Jesus was going against all normal methods of training His followers. He not only attends parties with sinners but invites them to be His disciples. Isolation from sinners is not what Jesus expects from those who follow Him (Bock 1994:492).
5:31. Though the Pharisees complained to the disciples, Jesus must have heard their criticism, and so it is He who responds.
(His answer is a parabolic summary of His initial mission statement in 4:17-19. There, His stated mission was to liberate those who in bondage and set captives free (cf. Green 1997:247). Here, He states that people who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. He draws an analogy between the sick and sinners. When one is sick, they seek help from a doctor. The doctor diagnoses the problem, then prescribes medicine or diet and lifestyle changes to overcome the sickness and improve health. When a person is not sick, they don’t go to a doctor. Only the sick go to a doctor.
5:32. Similarly, Jesus states that He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.Just as healthy people don’t need doctors, righteous people don’t need repentance. In speaking of therighteous does Jesus mean those who are truly righteous in God’s sight, or those who are self-righteous in their own eyes? Most believe He is referring to people who are self-righteous (cf. Pentecost 1981:156), but either way, the statement is still true (cf. EBC 8:884).