Connect with 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.
- Luke 5:29
When Levi decided to follow Jesus, he was made new. And in his new life, his natural impulse was to throw a party and invite his friends to meet Jesus. When God does something new in you, he soon begins to do something new through you.
Tax collectors wouldn’t have had a lot of friends. The local priest and artisan hat maker wouldn’t have wanted to associate with someone who was seen as daily betraying God’s people in exchange for money. The tax collector’s life would have been a lonely life. Who would come to his party?
Today’s passage tells us who would come to a tax collector’s party: other tax collectors! This might have been the only social event these folks got invited to all year. Everyone was there, including Jesus.
Deb Hirsch recently tweeted: “The wonderful thing about Jesus wasn't so much that the lost and broken wanted to be around him, but that he wanted to be around them.” Can you see this in today’s passage? Of course the tax collectors wanted to spend time with the famous Jesus. That’s the way the world works. But Jesus wanting to spend time with them, that’s another story altogether.
When Levi becomes a follower of Jesus, he leaves behind his tax booth, but he doesn’t leave behind his fellow tax collectors. He opens a door for them too to encounter Jesus.
Following Jesus is not just a private religious decision. It spills over into our relationships and community and celebrations. We throw our lives open in healthy and joy-filled ways and invite the people that God’s placed in our lives to join us as we connect with our Savior.
Who are you currently hoping would connect with Jesus? Who has God placed in your social circle? How can you actively invite people in your social circle to connect with Jesus?