Understanding Jesus’ Purpose
Scripture reading for January 4th: Genesis 3-5, Mark 2
Mark 2:14-17 “And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he rose and followed Him. And as He reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.””
When Jesus called Levi, (Matthew) the tax collector, He caught the attention of the religious establishment. Jewish tax collectors were the lowest of the low in their eyes and the worst of sinners because they made their living collecting money from their own people. But Jesus saw not a sinner, but a valuable team member who would follow Him and find new purpose and provision. When the scribes of the Pharisees asked why Jesus would eat with the tax collectors and known ‘sinners’, Jesus spoke up directly and set them straight. God’s purpose was to heal the hurting, the broken and known sinners. His purpose was to call “sinners” out of their sinful lifestyle and lost state and invite them into His kingdom. Jesus would teach them who they were and help them find noble purpose and the abundant life. As Levi accepted the invitation, he invited his friends to come and dine, already beginning to find new purpose and joy in fishing for men!
Prayer: Father God, thank You for inviting me, a sinner, to join You in Your purpose of seeking and saving the lost. You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ to seek out sinners and clothe them with Christ’s righteousness. Forgive me for hiding from Your purposes and failing to see sinners through Your eyes. Fill me with a renewed understanding of Your purpose in each moment of today. Help me to be present in Your Presence to truly help those still hiding from You.
Genesis 3:7-9 “Then the eyes of both (Adam and Eve) were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?””