Sustained by God’s Word and Following Jesus
Luke 5:17-32: A paralyzed man is brought to Jesus. Because of the crowds, the man is lowered by his friends through an opening in the roof. Jesus heals the man and forgives his sins. Jesus calls Levi, a tax collector, to follow him; and Levi gives a big feast in his house for Jesus.
[Jesus said:] “I have not come to call respectable people to repent, but outcasts.”
17One day when Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of the Law were sitting there who had come from every town in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was present for Jesus to heal the sick.18Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a bed, and they tried to carry him into the house and put him in front of Jesus.19Because of the crowd, however, they could find no way to take him in. So they carried him up on the roof, made an opening in the tiles, and let him down on his bed into the middle of the group in front of Jesus.20When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the man, “Your sins are forgiven, my friend.”
21The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who speaks such blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins!”
22Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Why do you think such things?23Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?24I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, pick up your bed, and go home!”
25At once the man got up in front of them all, took the bed he had been lying on, and went home, praising God.26They were all completely amazed! Full of fear, they praised God, saying, “What marvelous things we have seen today!”
27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”28Levi got up, left everything, and followed him.
29Then Levi had a big feast in his house for Jesus, and among the guests was a large number of tax collectors and other people.30 Some Pharisees and some teachers of the Law who belonged to their group complained to Jesus' disciples. “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other outcasts?” they asked.
31Jesus answered them, “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick.32I have not come to call respectable people to repent, but outcasts.”
Why do the religious leaders criticize Jesus for forgiving sins (verse 21)? How does Jesus respond (verses 22-24)? Why were the people amazed (verse 26)? How does Jesus respond to those who accuse him and his disciples of dining with tax collectors and outcasts (verses 31 and 32)? What message can we learn from Jesus’s words?
Lord Jesus, you call people from all walks of life to follow you. Teach me to heed your call and to open my heart to those in need. May all I do and say this day give glory to you. Amen.
Church and community food pantries and soup kitchens that serve the poor and homeless
Luke 5:33—6:11: The religious leaders question Jesus about fasting and about the Sabbath.