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Letter Nineteen

Imagine you were one of the women followers of Jesus during his three-year ministry on earth. What would it be like as you heard his teachings, walked by his side, and watched his ministry?

Dear sister,

Today we gained a new follower. His name is Levi, son of Alphaeus. We call him Matthew, gift of God. Unlike the others who are fishermen, he is a tax collector. To honor our Master, Levi called together his co-workers, friends, and even some Pharisees and teachers of the law to have a banquet. As seems often the case, the religious leaders were upset and began to question Jesus’ intentions. They wanted to know why he would dine with tax collectors and “sinners.” Jesus’ response was brilliant: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Truly Jesus is on a mission. He is not going about “life as normal,” tending to his carpentry work and focusing on his comfortable group of family and friends. Rather, he calls himself a doctor, reaching out to those in need.

Yes, we are all sick and in need of healing from our sinful state. Jesus came to set us free.

As a spiritual doctor, he reaches out to the sinners, rather than judge or reject them. He has gone beyond the borders of the temple where those who have an interest in God come to worship. Many are not paying attention to their spiritual needs and are not seeking to fill them through the one True God. Thus, Jesus is coming to them in their homes and places of work and socializing.

Sister, this is making me think about how our family lives in a religious bubble. We go about our daily life not really paying attention to our neighbors. We worship at the temple and spend time with our friends who are followers of our Jewish faith. The beggars and those who never set foot at the Temple we ignore. But Jesus is teaching me a whole new way of thinking. Like him, we need to be on a mission to help the lost find God. We do this by helping them with their needs, praying with and for them, getting to know them, and sharing with them about God’s love. I hope you are telling others about the wonderful things I am learning from Jesus. Join me in our mission to care for those who are “spiritually sick.”

On an eternal mission,

your Big Sister

Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32

Today’s Application:

  1. The tax collectors worked for the Roman government and often dishonestly overcharged people when collecting taxes so they could steal some money for themselves. But Jesus did not hesitate to socialize with them in order to bring them salvation. The Lord has called all of us to the mission of reaching those around us with His love. Matthew 28:18-20 tells us to share the gospel and make disciples of all nations. We are to be active participants in reaching out to the lost. Are you living in a Christian bubble? Think of a kind act you can do for your neighbors to build a relationship with them. Offer to pray for and with them. Get involved in a community group of some kind to develop relationships with non-Christians.

  2. Don’t ignore the beggars or homeless on the street, but rather help them with their needs. Then give them a Bible and encourage them to start reading the gospels.

  3. Reach out to your co-workers. Get to know them. Offer to pray for them. In the right timing, share your testimony with them.

  4. For your vacation time, go on a mission trip to share the gospel to those who have few witnesses around them.

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