(From the song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”)
REVIEW: Levi left everything to focus on following Jesus.
“Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But 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?’”
Luke 5:29-30 NIV
When I was in school, the kids divided themselves up into groups. One group had the athletes, another group had the smart kids, still another had the popular kids. And then there was the group of kids who weren’t popular. Another word for these kinds of groups is “cliques.”
During lunch time, you could see clearly these different groups. They would each sit at a different table in the lunchroom, and everyone knew you had to sit with your group. If you sat at the wrong table, the others kids wouldn’t be nice to you or even tell you to leave. This was not good, but that’s the way it was.
Jesus isn’t like that. Jesus loves all of us. He doesn’t want us to be in “cliques.”
In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees were a “clique.” They felt they were better than other people because they followed all the “rules” of religion. They made other people feel bad, because they excluded those not in their group. Kind of like the popular kids did to the unpopular kids back in school.
When Jesus came around, the Pharisees thought he would only hang out in their group. They thought Jesus would join their clique. So when they saw him eating with the unpopular people (tax collectors and sinners), it shocked them. It would be like the most popular star athlete having lunch with the least popular kids and enjoying himself.
PARENTS: Think back to your days of school. Did you have “cliques?” Which one were you in? Recall a time you felt “left out.”
KIDS: Have you ever felt “left out” of a group? Or have you ever left someone else out? Tell about it.
PRAY: “Thank you Lord that you love all people.”