05 June 2020

Luke 5:27-39, Open Mind, Open Heart, Open Bible

Luke 5:27-39

The calling of Levi is one of the Gospel's most famous stories, for it is where Jesus sits and eats with sinners. The Pharisees criticize Jesus for this, but he tells them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (27-32).

Jesus explains how his Gospel reaches these "sinners" but not the Pharisees with a parable, saying "No one puts new wine into old wine skins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved. No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, 'The old is better'" (33-39).

These sinners Jesus eats with receive the Gospel as new. They are transformed by it so that they grow to its shape. However the Pharisees have received old teachings which they have shaped themselves around. To take the shape of the Gospel, they would have to destroy themselves and be remade. While this was a mystery to the Pharisees, we know that this is the heart of salvation, and the invitation Jesus gives us through baptism.

Whether we are new and can be shaped by the Gospel, or old and must be reborn, we are transformed by the good news that God is Love so long as we can approach with an open heart and a willingness to change. Otherwise like a "new patch applied to old clothing" we will tear away and be destroyed by what was meant to be our salvation.

There is one question I will leave you with until next week. In verses 34-35, Jesus is questioned about fasting. When do we fast and why? Being that the Holy Spirit is with us always, should Christians fast? Think about that and post in the comments or send me an email. I look forward to your replies. Until next week.

Peace be with you.

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