Luke 5:27-39 A New Thing
Intro : In this section Jesus announces that He had come to do a new thing / He Illustrates that new work by calling a man to follow Him that most people wouldnít even had associated W/
27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me."
Now Mark in His gospel account identifies this man as Matthew and identifies him as "the son of Alphaeus" / Writer of Gospel of Matthew!
- It was common for men to be known by more than one name. Thomas was also called Didymus / Mark was sometimes called John
- and Peter was also known as Simon
- Now Some have suggested that the Lord renamed Levi - Matthew (which
means, "gift of Jehovah, or Yahweh") Could be true
Several things we want to note today - 1st letís consider what kind of man Levi was.
A tax collecter -also called a publican - was a man who served Rome by
- In those days a man could buy what they called a tax collecting franchise
- A franchise required collecting a specified amount of taxes for Rome and anything collected beyond that figure was kept as personal profit.
- Now no one knew what the specified amount of taxes were except for the Roman officials & the tax collector himself
- this enabled the tax collector to really jack up the taxes if he wanted to & keep a larger profit for himself ( Practice permitted by Roman officials)
- For this reason the tax collectors were considered crooks & traitors by their own people & were hated
1) They were even more despised than Roman officials or soldiers.
- Another common practice of the tax collectors that made People hate them even more
- Is they would accept bribes from the wealthy to reduce and falsify their taxes
- and then they would tax the middle and lower classes more to make up the
- All the while they themselves amassed great fortunes under the authority of the oppressor and at the expense of their own countrymen.
The noted Jewish scholar Alfred Edersheim reports that Jewish publicans were barred from the synagogue
- and forbidden to have any religious or social contact with his fellow Jews.
- He was ranked with the unclean animals, in the class of swine which a devout Jew would not so much as touch.
- and because he was considered a traitor and a congenital liar, he was ranked with robbers and murderers
- So Levi was one of the most despised of the despicable men in Capernaum / but When Jesus saw Him He said, Follow Me!
- It was an illustration to us & to everyone who saw this encounter , that Jesus extends His forgiveness even to the outcasts of society.
Although we are not given any details of Matt. Hearing Jesus - teach - it is safe to say that he probably did & knew who Jesus was -
- And he was probably as surprised as anyone when Jesus walked up to his
tax booth & said follow me !
NOTICE HIS RESPONSE : V. 28
- It says that Matt. Left all, rose up & followed Him!
- Notice that order - He left all - then He rose up and followed Him !
- I believe that order is significant & worth noting because we need to understand that there needs to be a leaving before there can be a rising.
1) Common principle in scripture
- It is interesting to trace thru the scriptures - the things that people left as they rose up to follow Him
In the very beg. Of Ch. 5 we saw where - Peter & his Bro - partners James & John - left their biggest catch ever
- V.11 They forsook all & followed Him
- After - He performed the miracle of allowing them to bring in a great hall of fish - their mentality wasnít
- Now we have found a sure fire way to be successful in the fishing business
- No when he called Follow me Ö.. fishers of men - They looked at each other, they looked at the great hall of fish / boats
- Left it all behind & rose up to follow Him !
I THINK ABOUT BLIND MAN BART. MARK 10 - WHO WHEN JESUS CALLED LEFT HIS COAT
- Beggars coat w/ deep pockets holding his money - it was a symbol of who he was what his life was about
- But when Jesus called he took off his coat & left it behind & rose up &
went to Him/ Why did he do that ?
- He knew that if Jesus healed him he was not going to need that coat anymore
- New life - no longer needing to look back to the old - no longer would he need to beg anymore
I THINK OF LAZ. WHO LEFT BEHIND THE GRAVES CLOTHES HE WAS BOUND IN
WIDOW OF NAIN - WHO WHEN JESUS TOUCHED HER SON - THEY ROSE UP & LEFT BEHIND THAT CASKET
I THINK OF WHAT PAUL SAID IN PHIL 3
- 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
- Paul was referring to his old life as a Pharisees / as a religious man who did not have a relationship w/ God
- Paul was a man who had accomplished so much in the flesh
- - But Paul says forgetting what lies behind -that stuff count as garbage
- Looking forward to what lies ahead - I am pressing toward the goal
for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
- Paul illustrating there that before a person can go forward in the Lord - before he can go upward in Jesus -
- there has to be a letting go of the past - Before there can be a looking ahead to the future !
Now I have watched many people who have been limited in ministry - or held back & weighed down in their Christianity - no Joy
- Because they were not willing to leave something behind
- For some it was a secret sin - a " little compromise " Grey areas" For others it was an attitude of bitterness & unforgiveness
- Some a fear / others a lack of trust or some misconception they have about the Lord that is causing them to not truly rise up & follow
- Listen THE FREESEST PEOPLE ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE LEARNED TO LEAVE THINGS BEHIND
- Canít experience all that the Lord has for us until we are willing to do that
Heb.12 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
IS THERE SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE THAT HAS BEEN KEEPING YOU FROM EXPERIENCING ALL THAT THE LORD HAS
- A)Something that He has been asking you to leave behind - to lay aside & rise up to follow Him in a deeper way - more committed ?
B) So you can Rise up & go higher in the Lord - deeper in your walk
PRINCIPLE IS SEEN IN SALVATION - REPENTENCE = TURN FROM SIN - LEAVING IT BEHIND - TURN TO GOD
- How many are reluctant to rise up & follow Christ because of an unwillingness to turn from sin - truly repent
B) Jim Elliot "He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
- The People who sore the highest in the kingdom presently & those who will be the greatest in the kingdom in eternity
- Are those who have learned to leave stuff behind !
So Levi LEFT all, ROSE up & FOLLOWED Jesus
NOTICE WHAT LEVI DOES NEXT v.29
29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them.
- CATCH THAT ? He gave Him a feast - this
was no party just for the sake of throwing a party
- Levi Wanted to honor Jesus - His new friend and savior & He wanted His friends to meet Jesus as well
1) The Party was one in which Jesus was the guest of honor
- Like many new converts, Leviís first thought was to tell his friends
about the Savior.
- At this party were his fellow tax collecting Assoc. & the "others" Those whom Levi identifies in his own gospel account as - sinners
- Which no doubt included robbers, murderers, drunkards, prostitutes, and other irreligious and ungodly people.
- They were the riffraff of the area and must have been intrigued and touched by the prospect of dining with Jesus,
1) whom they knew to be a teacher of righteousness.
Now Jesus gained a reputation amongst his opponents - the religious leaders of the day as "a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners"
A) This may have been when those rumors started
- Most religious Jews, and especially the proud and self-righteous scribes and Pharisees, could not conceive of socializing w/ such a group of sinners
- The Jews of Jesusí day used the term sinners almost as a technical term for people who had no concern or respect either for the Mosaic law or rabbinic traditions.
- They were looked on as the vilest and most wretched and worthless of all people.
- Yet it was some of those very people that Jesus and His disciples joined at the banquet in Matthewís house.
And Eating in that culture was a radical thing - spoke of a oneness - of an
- Now why would Jesus want to associate w/ such a crowd ?
- That is exactly what the Pharisees were wondering when they asked the Disciples v. 30
"Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"
Jesus over hearing the complaint - responded and said to them,v.31 "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 sinners, to repentance."
A) The scribes and Pharisees saw Levi and his friends as condemned sinners,
- but Jesus saw them as spiritually sick "patients" who needed the help of a physician.
- Sin is like a disease: it starts in a small and hidden way; it grows secretly;
it saps our strength; and if it is not cured, it kills.
- It is tragic when sickness kills the body, but it is even more tragic
when sin condemns the soul to hell.
Reminds us that although Jesus hated sin - he loved the sinner & came for the very reason of setting the sinner free from his sin!
- Your neighbor who lives w/ her boyfriend / Jesus loves them . The guy in
the office or on the Job - who is having an affair
- the guy at work who is a homosexual - the gal you know who is using drugs - Jesus loves them -
- Hates their sin -and unless they repent - they will be judged in their sin & for their sin -
- but He loves them & if they would only turn to Him He would forgive
them & set them free from their sin!
- Jesus was the great physician who came to men who were sick in their sin !
He came to make them Well
Just as a physician is expected to go among people who are sick, a forgiver should be expected to go among those who are sinful.
The kingdom of God is for the spiritually sick who want to be healed, the spiritually corrupt who want to be cleansed, the spiritually poor who want to be rich, the spiritually hungry who want to be fed, the spiritually dead who want to be made alive. It is for ungodly outcasts who long to become Godís own beloved children.
Wiersbe What a wonderful Physician Jesus is! He comes to us in love; He calls us; He saves us when we trust Him; and He "pays the bill." His diagnosis is always accurate and His cure is perfect and complete. No wonder Matthew was so happy and wanted to share the Good News with his friends!
Well after this they tried to attack Jesusí Spiritualness & Holiness in another way
33 Then they said to Him, "Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?"
They were suggesting that if Jesus was really a spiritual guy like them - he wouldnít be so Happy . He wouldnít be celebrating w/ sinners
- Reminds me of the preacher who was preaching on the passage that Jesus was a Man of sorrows acquainted w/ grief
- Never smiled never laughed - always serious - Little girl NOT TRUE
- Children - came ÖÖ wouldnít have come
- True that Jesus was grieved by manís sin - yet He also rejoiced in seeing sinful men like Levi - come to repentance !
Now The Old Testament prescribed only one fast, the one on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (see Lev. 16:29, 31) ,
But the Jews were always adding to the scriptures & Jewish tradition had come to require fasting twice a week on and Mon. & Thurs..
- Prayers 12/ 3pm / 6pm
- Along w/ alms giving &certain prescribed prayers, fasting twice-a wk. had become 1 of the 3major expressions of orthodox Judaism in Jesusí day.
- The scribes and Pharisees looked on these practices with great seriousness
- and were careful not only to follow them faithfully but to do so as publicly as a testimony to true godliness
- but in reality as a testimony to their own self-styled piety.
- When they gave alms, they blew trumpets "in the synagogues and in the streets" in order to "be honored by men" (Matt. 6:2).
- When they prayed "in the synagogues and on the street corners," they did so "to be seen by men" (v. 5).
And when they fasted, they "put on a gloomy face" and neglected their "appearance in order to be seen fasting by men"
- I t was all an outward show of external rituals which they paraded as
badges of godliness but actually it marked them as ungodly hypocrites,
1) And Jesus wasnít shy about telling so
34 And He said to them, "Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them?
35 "But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days."
- In those days a wedding would usually last 7days, & the bridegroom would choose his best friends to be responsible for the festivities.
B) The wedding celebration was not a time for them to mourn but to rejoice.
. 1)By using this image, Jesus was saying to His critics, "I came to make
life like a wedding feast, not a funeral.
- If you know the Bridegroom, then you can share His joy."
- Jesusí point was that it was inappropriate for His followers to mourn and
fast while He was with them in person.
- But He said that one day He would be "taken away," The days will
come, Jesus explained, when the bridegroom is taken away.
- Taken away is from apairoĶ, which can carry the idea of sudden removal, of being snatched away violently. Obviously referring Cross
- That will be the time for mourning, and then they will fast.
- But for the present time, He was saying, fasting was inappropriate and there was good reason for joy, for sinners were coming to repentance.
JESUS PRECEEDED TO GIVE TWO ILLUSTRATIONS STATING THAT HE HAD COME TO DO A NEW THING
- Here Jesus was making an important point/ that for the people & the religious leaders to go forward in the Lord rise up experience all He had - there had to be a leaving behind of the rabbinical traditions
B) First illustration Jesus used a garment
36 Then He spoke a parable to them: "No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old.
- Jesus was illustrating that he had not come to try & patch up the old religious system - canít patch up the old -
- Canít put a new patch onto old Leviís - wash stretch & tear
- The problem wasnít that the old system needed fixed or patched - but that a new system was needed entirely
In Scripture, garments are sometimes used to picture character and conduct (Col. 3:8-17). Put off old man - put on the NEW
- Isaiah wrote about a "robe of righteousness"
- But Some people instead of receiving the Robe of Righteousness that Jesus offers to those who believe in Him
1) try to create their own "patchwork" religion
- Like a man wearing a worn out coat w/ holes - they try to patch up that old
coat - instead of allowing the Lord to give them a new one .
1) Patch it up w/ Church attendance ! - patch it up w/ Charity work -
- Then comes the New Years Resolution Patch - Stop drinking - stop
smoking - start exercising - New Me / but it is all external -
1) Still wearing an old worn out coat !
Jesus says I want to give you an New coat - Like Bart. I want you to leave that old thing behind & allow me to give you a new coat - make new man
- Jesus does a work on the inside that affects your life in every way - seen on the outside !
- That was the problem w/ the old rabbinical system is that it was focused on the external - White washed tombs
- Jesus came to take care of the inside problem
- He didnít come to patch up the old Rabbinical system - Nor does He want to patch up your old life
- He came to do a New thing & to give you a new life !
In the 2nd illustration - He gives further insight into how this takes place
37 "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined.
38 "But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
39 "And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.'"
Here Jesus was illustrating the truth that His new way also cannot be contained in the old way
- Wine was often stored in animal skins that were specially prepared for that purpose.
- Now Old wineskins would eventually dry out and become hard , and if someone put new wine into them, when the wine began to ferment
- they couldnít handle the stretching & the expanding & they would crack and burst open ,spilling the wine ... out.
- The only suitable container for new wine is a fresh wineskin.
Jesus came to usher in the new, not to unite with the old.
- Jesus would establish a New Covenant in His blood - written on human hearts, not on tablets of stones
- He would promise to indwell those who followed Him w/ the Holy Spirit
who would enable them to walk in Godís ways
- The Christian life is not a mixing of the old and the new; rather, it is a fulfillment of the old in the new.
1) When you trust Jesus Christ, you become part of a new creation
- Now someone might say I donít get it - How did Jesus make me New I am still the same person - look the same - talk the same - same Guy !!!
The Language here makes it very clear - two words for New !
A)V.37 -No one puts New wine into a old wine skin - word for New there is
Neos = New in time - entirely New thing -
- Wine is symbolic of the Spirit - God was presenting a New Cov.
- New Wine had to be put into New wineskins - here a different word is used for - New = Kainos - it means renewed
- Interesting - because in Bible days wineskins were valuable & relatively expensive
- When they got hard - a lot of people didnít have the money to buy a new one - so they would renew it - How?
- By soaking it in water for days & days - When they did that the softness & flexibility would return .
- Water is symbolic of the Word & This is an interesting Picture of what Christ seeks to do in our lives turn Rom. 12
12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The word Transformed = meta morphisis - caterpillar becomes a butterfly same creature - whole New thing - not crawling but flying
- How happen - One a leaving of the world - system & mindset
- Two a renewing of the mind - How is our mind renewed - when we soak in
the water of Godís word
- Want to stay flexible - open to the H.S. moving in your life - soak in the word !
- Trouble when we start to think - oh I have studied that before - No need to go to Wed. nights
- Put aside the word to read books - grow hard -
Sum up this passage simply 3 marks of the true believer
1st like Levi - Leaves the world - turns from sin to follow the Lord
2nd A true believer has compassion on the unsaved
3rd true Believer forsakes legalism & ritualism to walk in the spirit
Also have seen that Jesus is the great Physician who comes to Heal those who are sick in Sin
But there are three kinds of "patients" whom Jesus cannot heal of their sin sickness:
- those who do not know about Him;
- those who know about Him but refuse to trust Him; and
- those who will not admit that they need Him.
The scribes and Pharisees were in that third category
Unless we admit that we are sinners, deserving of Godís judgment, we cannot be saved.