20 Faith of the joy

Luke 5:27-35
Isaiah 62:1-5

T Invited by Jesus

 This morning, it is from "the call of Levi" (5:27 -28), "the meal in the house of Levi" (29-32) and "questions and answers about a fast" (33-35). We want to hear it, it is including the reason why this article was added to a miracle story of Capernaum. "Example of garment and wine" (36-39) is this continuance, but because it becomes long, I will treat it other time.

 "And after that He went out, and noticed a tax-gatherer named Levi, sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, 'Follow Me.' And he left everything behind, and rose and began to follow Him." (27-29) "After that"; according to Mark, it seems that it is after the event that Jesus healed a person of the palsy. Jesus went to the bank of the lake, and talked to a large number of people there, and when He came back to the center of the town, He had noticed Levi (Matthew) in tax collection place. Capernaum was located in northwest of the Sea of Galilee, and because it was the terminal city where the highway intersected which ran in the north, south, east and west, it was a perfect place to collect a transit duty and a commodity tax. This tax was the capitation tax that Rome imposed on the dependency, and Matthew "sat down" on the tax collection place. Because the work of tax collection was evaluated the load on the stand at the edge of the road, so it was common that people who work there are standing; however, Matthew sat down, because it seems that Matthew would be in the managerial class who watched movement of a passerby. Rome appointed the system of this tax collection, and it was a thing to squeeze out of local tax-gatherer whom Rome authorized. Therefore, they hung the copper sheet which was a mark of the authority from a neck, and had a club in their hand and broke open a load with it, and they pulled it out from a passerby rather much more, without a pardon, not to suffer loss. Matthew; he was said as a minion of Rome and was called a thief; and his boast as Jew was lost, and he was feeling that he was becoming farther from God more and more; perhaps, such his despair would be there.

 Jesus noticed such Matthew. There is it, "Follow Me." "And he left everything behind, and rose and began to follow Him.". "Follow me"; this is the words which was used at the time prophets invite a disciple in old days. "He was sitting in the tax office." and "he rose and began to follow Him.", these would be displayed intentionally; but perhaps, these will show that when he was called out by Jesus, he who was feeble was revived. He threw all away and followed Jesus. And he invited Jesus and His disciples to his house and gave "a big reception" for Him (29). While Luke is feeling (as for other Gospel reporters) leaping joy of such Matthew, he gave this article to the miracle story, I imagine it so. It may be said that Luke drew joy of the people who believed Jesus, as hard as possible here.


U With sinners

 He invited "a great crowd of tax-gatherers and other people" (29) into that table. Then, the Pharisee and their scribes said to disciples of Jesus. "Why do You eat and drink with the tax-gatherers and sinners?" (30) They seem to feel a hesitation in criticizing Jesus directly. Still, they called them "sinners", against a great number of the people who was invited to the meal. A local person would not be able to forget "tax-gatherers", but what did they make a standard meaning of "the sinners"? Of course, there would be the people of problem prohibited comings and goings to the synagogue inside, but "a large number of people" were in this dining table. It will be unreasonable to conclude that the all members are law violators, even if good Sopher of the memory. The people who looked at a state of the inside from the window would be a lot of, besides Sophers; but outwardly, there were no different states among the people of inside and the people of outside. Nevertheless, they concluded that the people of inside were "sinners". Don't you want to ask, "What's in a standard?"? The one and only thing be thought; it is problems of their consciousness that the people sitting at the seat of meal are "sinners". It was Jewish consciousness that "sitting with a dirty person (for instance, foreigner)" is dirty. At there, the strong awareness of chosen people that "we are right" or "we are holy" is appears and disappears. The repulsion of Luke would be there, I think.

 However, they threw doubt to Jesus and His disciples, "Why do you accompany a dining table with sinners?"; and here, they recognized that Jesus and His disciples were "right (the orthodox) Jews". It was very strange, but though they left the spot of healing of the person of the palsy dejectedly, but they followed Jesus without leaving, and at last, they were in a house of Matthew. Therefore they remembered the face of disciples and it seems that they would have a kind of sense of closeness. However, it means that they have begun to already act with hostility awareness to Jesus.


V Faith of the joy

 Jesus answered them. "It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." (31-32) Jesus invited them, Sophers, too; and they would hear so it. However, they began to insist on correctness of oneself not to be able to recognize oneself as sinners. It is the opening of the fast dispute.

 "The disciples of John often fast and offer prayers; the disciples of the Pharisees also do the same; but Yours eat and drink." (33) We need attention for "the fast" that they say. Because there is it in the Old Testament / the Leviticus, "In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls," (16:29); the Jews have protected it as a fast day once in year. However, that numbers gradually increased in the days of Jesus, Tzom Gedaliah were twice in a week. Originally, "the fast" comes from the state, when people is sad and hard, he can not eat much naturally while being accompanied with prayer; but, "the fast" which Jews warn to body is religious training, and it has a meaning to keep oneself clean in front of God. Therefore, tendency that concern shifts to seen shape might be caused easily. One time a year becomes the twice, and it becomes once a month, and once a week...; it may be a matter of course of to increase. The Ramadan of the Islam is 1 time a year, but, it is a long-term thing during 40 days, and in addition, it is freed when the sun grows dark. It is not to have been limited to the fast, but the act under the name called the religion comes to be based on the eyes of the person than God, and such a tendency seems to be never avoided.

 The Sophers assumed that it was Tzom Gedaliah violation, so they criticized Jesus. Would this day be the Tzom Gedaliah? However, Jesus has talked about the reason why disciples did not the fast, but did not touch increased fast days. Because there was more important thing than it. "You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days." (34-35) This is not a simple example. It is there, "As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you" (Isaiah 62:5), "'And it will come about in that day,' declares the Lord, 'That you will call Me Ishi..." (Hoshea 2:16-20); so the Jews have understood that the Messiah will come as "a bridegroom". And, Jesus declared that bridegroom was Himself. Why must the people whom there is with the bridegroom fast? The marriage was a feast of the joy, so even a fast of 1 degree a year expiation day seems to have been exempted from a bridegroom. We must ask about our faith with Matthew, "Do we share the joy invited bridegroom Jesus?". However, in those days that "a bridegroom is taken away", they will fast. This seems that a cross is told, but, we must not forget there was a sorrow and pains of Jesus for our salvation.