Introducing our Friends to Jesus
Luke 5:27-39 27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” 33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” 34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” 36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'”
Introducing our friends to Jesus means that we remain as friends of sinners
For Levi, he has just answered the call. He hasn’t burned the bridges of relationships. He still has friends who aren’t followers of Jesus and he sees the need to introduce Jesus to them.
1. How many people are there in your life who don’t follow Jesus as Savior and Lord? Do you pray for them to come to Christ? What are some of their names so we can pray for them with you?
Introducing our friends to Jesus means that we create opportunities for our friends to meet Jesus Christ.
I love the words of C. T. Studd, that brilliant young Englishman who gave away a fortune that he might go out to the jungles of Africa. He put his philosophy this way:
Some like to dwell
Within the sound
Of church and chapel bell.
But I want to run a rescue shop
Within a yard of Hell.
2. Evaluate that statement. Is it either/or? Why are both important?
3. Levi creates for Jesus a great feast to introduce his friends to Jesus. What are some things that we can do to create venues for introducing our friends to Jesus?
4. Why do we need to have an ‘intentionality’ of introducing our friends to Jesus?
5. What are some of the dangers/pitfalls in creating venues for our friends?
Introducing our friends to Jesus means that we live with the risk of criticism and misunderstanding
6. Why do you think the religious leaders criticized Jesus and His disciples?
7. How should we handle the criticism of those who question how we seek to reach our friends for Christ?
Introducing our friends to Jesus means that we live with the tension between celebrating and fasting.
8. In what way is the bridegroom both present and absent for us?
9. Why should we know how to celebrate the presence of Jesus?
10. Why should we know how to deny ourselves for the advancement of the kingdom?
Introducing our friends to Jesus means that we understand the incompatibility of the New Covenant with the Old Covenant.
11. What metaphors/images does Jesus use to describe the incompatibility of the New Covenant with the Old?
12. What is it about the New Covenant that makes it so radically different from the Old?
Introducing our friends to Jesus means that we understand the difficulty and reluctance to give up the old.
13. What is it about the ‘old wine’ that makes sinners reluctant in coming to Christ?
14. How do we show that the new wine (Jesus) is so much better?
15. What are some of the ‘comfort zones’ we need to prayerfully let go of in order to more effectively introduce our friends to Jesus?