Sermon by Renaldo Meyer on 3 March 2019

#3 A Disciple is

It is good to have all you gathered here today, may the Lord, God, Himself continue to speak to us. And may we continue to listen to Him. Listen to Him, meditate on what His word is and act on it. Thus I great you all! And I would like to read the following passge to you

Greatings

Luke 5 12-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)

 Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

12While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. b When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

13Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

14Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

15Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Scripture Reading  

Luke 5 17- Amplified Bible (AMP)

The First Disciples

17One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So, he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Jesus Calls Levi and Eats with Sinners

27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

29Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

31Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Disciples can give up anything, go anywhere, and risk everything because the gospel has filled us with good things that can never be taken away

WE WILL LOOK  AT  TWO SCENES


“SCENE 1 …as Jesus walks Luke 5 verse 12-26

1# AS HE PASSES BY – Jesus on a Journey!

12While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.  When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

13Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

14Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

15Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  16But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Jesus never stopped teaching everyone that He met on His journey : He even gets interupted when he is just walking around in the cities or when He is just “taking” a break.

This is really good example of an idea that Jesus started. The Church should be a place where teaching takes place. Churches should contiinue the paradim that Jesus established.

It is fundamental to our call as his followers . Jesus draws the attention…You , as a disciple will also have to face this- the attention. But as you teach and preach it ougth to be about Jesus. So when attention is drawn to you by society – it gets channled back to Jesus all the Time! You will see a perfect example of this in a moment!

We have to teach people, but it is dynamic teachings. Teachings that is bible based and inspired by the Spirit. We should not shy away from this, because the correct teachings at the correct time, can save someone else life.

And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Now this word sick in the Greek does not just refer to physical sickness but to all kinds of deformities that exit. This ranges from a broken family, a mindset that has been corrupted over the years, a “sick” approach to life- where you are pessimistic and not optimistic, a mindset based on judgement…you get the picture!

Jesus is on a journey to teach and preach to the SICK especially those that

don’t know that they are actually the sickest of us all.

Those who proclaim their own prosperity and their own glory , those that rely on their own understanding and wisdom those that don’t have to hear when the WORD of the Lord is being preached to them in the places where it is not normally preached, those that don’t want to admit that it is only by His Grace that we are saved and that it is only the Fathers Love that holds us.

Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

There is a bit of arrogance in the line that the person with leprosy uses. He is actually not expecting to be healed by Jesus.  You will meet people in your life that know who you represent and they will ask you if you are willing to help them , they will try and throw you off guard and ask something of you that others could not do, See the scribes and the priests could not help this man ger healed.

So he actually lost hope and now became one of those who would mock anyone who has done good for others and has helped others through though situations, But also expect that they will tell others about what Jesus has done through His Spirit by using you in the field of ministry even though you don’t want them to tell others about it beucase it draws attention, Look at this.

14Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

It’s interesting that Jesus says to the man to not tell anyone- but that he should go to the priests and make a sacrifice. See it was this event that caused that Jesus could not go feather to the other cities but that he remains in the city as the crowds grew more and more.

We ought to be the ones that follow Jesus- follow his way of teaching and preaching, follow His instruction and go to the wolves and preach it in the passing by. Jesus Never sits in the circle too long but he spends time there to preach and to teach and then he moves!

They are watching you- the Pharisees and the Scribes. They have to be there to make sure that you do what you came there for and not get lost in translation and do your own thing. Cause sometimes it happens that we know we have to preach and teach by the way we live with others but because no one is watching us we don’t do it responsibly.

19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

The world is desiring healing, so badly that they are breaking down certain structures and through lots of trouble to get it. We need to be WILLING, READY and ALERT to as Jesus Followers do what He did.

This is back to the idea that Jesus, teaches, heals, moves, takes time to pray/ be alone, teaches, heals, moves, takes time to pray/ be alone.

2# HE SAW LEVI THE SON OF ALPHAEUS..aka MATTHEW at 3 # THE TAX OFFICE

Remember this idea that Jesus, teaches, heals, moves, takes time to pray/ be alone, teaches, heals, moves, takes time to pray/ be alone.

So its clear that the news of what Jesus is doing got spread to almost every part of the province that he was in- some say even feather.  Imagine the news all over every news paper : Jesus HEALS! Man with Leprosy or MEN THROUGH ROOF HEALED BY JESUS.

This was the news of the weeks. That there is this man that is on a mission. A mission that has never been seen or done ever before.

He is doing things that this world has never seen or been through. Its on everyones mind. Some believed it- the disperate world , some rejected it- the scribes and pharesses , and some only heard of it not know yet the impact it will have on their lives- the tax collecters, the unreached , the rejected , the left “outs”.


Can you think of people in your sircle that you can catagorise in those three groups, where do you see yourself ?
Lets look at the next part of the Story.

Jesus Calls Levi and Eats with Sinners

27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Now this is the most weirdest part of this entire story but it is the punch line of the heart that disciples should have I think.

Jesus is again like he does – moving ( note Jesus is not searching for people to heal, teach and preach to – no He is just moving and where the Spirit leads him to He will go).

Tax collectors in the Bible. Tax collectors, also known as publicans, are mentioned many times in the Bible (mainly in the New Testament). They were reviled by the Jews of Jesus’ day because of their perceived greed and collaboration with the Roman occupiers Probably in every culture, in every part of history, from the tax collectors of ancient Israel to the IRS agents of today, the tax man has received more than his share of scorn and contumely. The New Testament indicates that the occupation of “tax collector” (or “publican”) was looked down upon by the general populace.

The Pharisees communicated their disdain for tax collectors in one of their early confrontations with Jesus. The Lord was eating a meal with “many tax collectors and sinners . . ., for there were many who followed him.” When the Pharisees noticed this,“they asked his disciples: ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’” (Mark 2:15–16). A “sinner,” to a Pharisee, was a Jew who did not follow the Law (plus the Pharisees’ own rules). And a “tax collector” was—well, a tax collector.

Jesus used the commonly held opinion of tax collectors as an illustration of the final stage of church discipline: when a person is excommunicated, Jesus said to “treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17). In other words, the excommunicant is to be considered an outsider and a candidate for evangelism.

There are a few reasons for the low view of tax collectors in the New Testament era. First, no one likes to pay money to the government, especially when the government is an oppressive regime like the Roman Empire of the 1st century. Those who collected the taxes for such a government bore the brunt of much public displeasure.

Second, the tax collectors in the Bible were Jews who were working for the hated Romans. These individuals were seen as turncoats, traitors to their own countrymen. Rather than fighting the Roman oppressors, the publicans were helping them—and enriching themselves at the expense of their fellow Jews.

Third, it was common knowledge that the tax collectors cheated the people they collected from. By hook or by crook, they would collect more than required and keep the extra for themselves. Everyone just understood that was how it worked. The tax collector Zacchaeus, in his confession to the Lord, mentioned his past dishonesty (Luke 19:8).

Fourth, because of their skimming off the top, the tax collectors were well-to-do. This further separated them from the lower classes, who resented the injustice of their having to support the publicans’ lavish lifestyle. The tax collectors, ostracized as they were from society, formed their own clique, further separating themselves from the rest of society.

Jesus taught that we should love our enemies. To emphasize the point, He said, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” (Matthew 5:46). The word even is significant. Jesus was telling the crowd they needed to rise above the level of publican behavior. If our love is only reciprocal, then we’re no better than a tax collector! Such a comparison must have left its mark on Jesus’ hearers.

Given the low esteem people had for tax collectors, it is noteworthy that Jesus spent so much time with them. The reason He was eating that meal in Mark 2 with “many tax collectors” is that He had just called Matthew, a tax collector, to be one of His twelve disciples. Matthew was throwing a feast because he wanted his circle of friends to meet the Lord. Many believed in Jesus (verse 15). Jesus responded to the Pharisees’ indignation by stating His ministry purpose: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

The Pharisees saw tax collectors as enemies to be shunned. Jesus saw them as the spiritually sick to be healed. The Pharisees could offer nothing to the tax collectors except a list of rules. Jesus offered forgiveness of sins and the hope of a new life. No wonder the publicans liked to spend time with Jesus (Luke 15:1). And tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus were transformed by the gospel and followed the Lord.

John the Baptist’s message was that all need to repent, not just tax collectors and other obvious sinners. The Pharisees couldn’t see their need and refused to be categorized with publicans. To the self-righteous, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him” (Matthew 21:31–32).


So…get this impression in your heads-minds  .

This man was well to do , rich and extramely hated and all those who were with him or related to him were seen in the same light. They shared the same reputation and the same disgrace burden given to them by what they did for a living. Well you can imagine the gasps- looks that spread through the group that was following Jesus – especially his disciples ( who were honest men – fisherman that were also probably the most of all exploited by tax collectors) when Jesus does not just walk by the tax office , but he walks right towards it and TELLS the chief officer there – FOLLOW ME.

They must have been horrified! Again we see a discplay here of Jesus CLEANSING AUTHORITY AND MISSION.
Jesus gives free grace which you cannot turn down. It is all in that CALL : FOLLOW ME, two simple but loaded words!

And we see that Levi does that he follows! Without any question, without any fear , without any pre-conditions to follow, without any rewards or any TAX which he can get , without any assurance that this will work!

Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

We all were onces Levi,s …and I think heaven or those that were following Jesus were all like Really ?

Does he or she deserve to be save ? And they were all in awe at what Jesus can do! But there are more Levi’s out there. Who have not yet gotten the call “ Follow Me. And we ought to be the onces who brings that message to them by preaching and treaching and moving the way Jesus did.

SCENE 2…as Jesus dines Luke 5 verse 28-31

29Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

31Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

1# EATING IN LEVI’s HOUSE

29Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. This was a big party ! We see here that he is now spending all that money that he had and he is now starting to give back! If Levi would have not been called by Jesus we would never have heard of him But now he is most famous after he received this call by Jesus, and now we have the frist book of the gospels written by Jesus.

2#TAX COLLECTORS AND SINNERS

He invistes the only people that will come. Those who were camped in the same group. Those who were also seen as sinners. Levi is now the example to those who also did what he did. This is where his professional career or being a getter becomes a career of a giver!

#3 Fellowship of eating with Jesus , Jesus always does this , he always eats with people, he always gets them to realise the importance of the fact that we are to feat with each other, sothat we can grow together.

Jesus came for people who are sick and know it and not those who are sick but don’t know it or do not want to admit that they need a savoir.

Jesus came to feast with us all at the table of redemtion. Jesus has come to break all the ideas we had about society and they way we see others!

Maybe you see yourself as someone who wil never be good enough (sinner)

Maybe you see yourself as someone who will never negleted the the call
Maybe you see yourself as someone who is a disciple that is following Jesus but He is leading you to places where you are caugth in the situation where you feel you have to be defensive  

Maybe you see yourself as someone who has never seen the call but your are doing the right thing

We have seen PHARISEES, SINNERS (SICK PEOPLE) and DISCIPLES

# A PHARISEE ( those who think they will be fine because they know the law, they don’t need to be saved , they are the ones that are right )

#A SINNER ( those who think they will never get saved/ healed / forgiven)

#A DISCIPLE  ( those who have seen all of this taken place)

FOR YOU : WHO ARE YOU IN THE STORY True discipleship , if  I may say involves righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scibes and pharesees (the know it alls0 , because it includes the knowledge that each of US is “a chief sinner/ tax collector” or lost , or one that has no purpose in catching fish at the right place without Jesus , who by the grace of God has called us to follow Him. To live thus a life that in joyfull dependence on Gods grace , and extending joyful grace to those who others have rejected or have ABANDONED.

 AMEN