LUKE 5 | Camer1(of Gospel Graffiti)
My teenage perception of God was a confusing one: I didn’t feel worthy of God’s grace because I felt that it was unattainable. My perception of God was one that contradicted itself: I had been told that God was all merciful and loving, but out of the same mouths were words of condemnation and guilt. It seemed that right after I was told that God accepted me just as I am I was told, “You need to stop this…You need to change that”. I desired freedom in Christ so badly, but focused so much on my sin and everything I was doing wrong.
Luke 5 is full of so much to learn from, but when I look at the chapter as a whole, I see two things. I see Jesus loving people where they are at and I see the Pharisees trying to use their Jedi mind tricks to ruin the things that God is doing. My friend Luis worded these situations in such a great way. He said, “There is the desire to be right and there is the need to be affective.”
Jesus met people where they were at. He went to the fishermen and said, "Follow me". He didn’t give them a list of rules to abide by. He simply said to follow him. Although rules are good and keep us safe, Jesus' initial concern was not how one obeys the rules, but if one will simply hang out with him. He healed a man with leprosy and simply said to worship him (John 5:14). He actually touched him when no one else would. He healed a paralyzed man and asked nothing in return except for him to show faith (John 5:25).
Then Jesus approached Levi. All Jesus did was hang out with him and eat dinner with his friends. No one wanted to hang out with a tax collector, but Jesus acted as a friend towards him. We see a similar story in Luke 19 where Jesus invited himself to another tax collector's house, Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was so moved by Jesus' approach that his life was changed. In Luke 19:8-10, it says that Zacchaeus stood up after dinner and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount". Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus could have pointed out everyone’s sin and condemned them on the spot. He had every right to. Jesus chose to be “affective” over a need to be “right”. We can read story after story of people who encountered Jesus and how their lives were changed because Jesus just loved them. He revealed truth and grace to them just by being in their presence. He didn’t expect people to change before they came to Him. He gave them an opportunity to experience who He was and that very experience caused them to want to change. They saw his true nature. They saw that even in their own sin, Jesus loved them. This compelled them to want to change. It thrust them in to a life of worship. This is what happened to me and it could happen to you.