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No, not one

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Luke 5:27, 30-31
Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

The Pharisees complained, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"

Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick."

On Thursday I had my six-month checkup with Dr. Ho. He looked at the blood tests, examined my body, looked me in the eyes and asked how I felt. I told him about my aches and pains, about the parts of me that seem to be wearing out the quickest. He told me what to do to slow this process down a little, smiled and sent me on my way.

Dr. Ho and I are in this world together. One of these days one of us will die, and then the other. In that way - that absolute way - we are both "sick." For now, I am following him. For eternity, we are both following Jesus. To paraphrase Paul, "There is no one healthy, not even one" (Romans 3:10).

Levi, or any of us, wouldn't leave Everything easily ... but when Jesus spoke, Levi was filled with enthusiasm. Life changed in an instant, from day-by-day drudgery to something he could live in the moment with God, the way a flower lives, with no thought for tomorrow.

When Jesus looked at Levi, Levi's eyes were opened. He stopped thinking about himself. Whatever attachment he felt to his possessions and plans faded out fast, and he only saw this new man Jesus. He only saw his eyes. We could call this hypnotism, the beginning of brainwashing. But Jesus would make Levi (Matthew) into the man God wanted him to be. With Jesus Levi could become healthy.

Jesus said without apology, "I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Mother Teresa, Saddam Hussein, George Bush, Barack Obama, my Aunt Mary, my second grade teacher that I didn't like ... we have this one great thing in common from the day of our birth to the day of our death.

1. We are unable on our own.
2. We are enabled by Jesus.

These truths make us flesh-and-blood-together more than anything. We are brothers and sisters because we need God more than we need air. To stop living for myself, stop coveting for myself, even stop thinking for myself and putting myself first there is only one path, the one where Jesus calls me to follow him.

Thank you, Lord, for looking all the way through me and loving what you see. Your hope and faith in me gives me what I need.



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