When Jesus told Levi to follow Him, He knew that Levi was a tax collector—reviled by the Jews at that time. Levi, overwhelmed by Jesus’ kindness, immediately responded by throwing a banquet for Jesus. As some of the religious teachers saw that Jesus was associating Himself with a tax collector, they complained; they saw tax collectors as traitors, since they collected money for their oppressors, the Romans. Jesus’ response to the Pharisees’ complaint was sharp: His mission was to the lost and needy, not to those who thought they didn’t have a need. He came to be a doctor to “the sick.”
God is not calling believers to an isolated life of holiness. Instead, we can live a life that associates with the “sick” and shares the good news with people who haven’t heard of Jesus. As we observe who Jesus was, we find that He spent time with the “wrong type” of people. If we want to be like Jesus, we shouldn’t be afraid to do the same.
This may be challenging and even frightening, but God is with us. Even if we find opposition from religious people, as Jesus did, let’s remember that we are not simply following men, but Jesus—the Son of Man.
God, give me opportunities and boldness to share Your good news with those who have not heard.