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Thought for the Day by Simon James-Morse (Minister of Goldstone Church)
Meet My Best New Friend
Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honour. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?” Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” (Luke 5:27-32 NLT)
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “if you draw near the light, you become light; if you draw near the dark, you become dark”. In other words, stay away from the bad people. But in this Bible passage, we see Jesus asking a questionable character to follow him. In turn, Levi invites a whole group of dreadful tax collectors and sinners to meet his new best friend. This caused a massive outcry among the pious Pharisees!
Jesus saw beyond the crusty exterior of Levi and his peers. He saw something in them that wanted to break free from the darkness – but they did not know how. Jesus, the Light of the World shows the way. With overflowing forgiveness, abundant grace and mercy, Jesus reached out and shared a meal with these money swindlers; in the same way that He spoke with a notorious woman at the well, and shared His life with ordinary, smelly fishermen.
As Christians, we were introduced and encountered Jesus personally. We were called out of the darkness of our sinful lives and brought into the light of everlasting love with Jesus. And having received this gift from Jesus, He calls us to share with others what He has done in our lives.
What are the ways we can reveal the light of Christ in our work, our home and with our friends?
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for calling me out of darkness into Your incredible light. I confess some darkness remains in me. Forgive me. I have often yielded to inaction and not stood up for You before mockers and slanderers. Keep me strong so that Your light in me will overcome the darkness in them. Help me to draw near to You, so that more and more of Your light will overflow in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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