“Introduce Now Valiantly
Invitation Towards Emmanuel! (I.N.V.I.T.E)”
Ramesh C. Reddy
Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and
"sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were
many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were
Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they
asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and
'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the
healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the
righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:15-17, NIV)
I asked myself what are
the actions of Jesus?
Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house
with his disciples.
Jesus was eating with many tax collectors
Jesus hears the Pharisees remarks and
I asked myself what is the
significance of Jesus being at Levi’s house?
Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house with his disciples.
I found it significant because Jesus had just
met Levi who was a tax collector. Jesus had invited him to follow Him.
Jesus does not end it there but gets involved in the life of Levi by
having dinner at Levi's house now when Levi follows Jesus and invites Jesus to his house to have dinner. It
does not end there as is evident by point 2.
Jesus was eating with many tax collectors and “sinners”.
When Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his
house, it was not a single invitation. Levi goes and invites all of his
friends including his tax collector friends and “sinners” to dine with him so
they could also dine with Jesus who Levi wanted them to meet. Jesus
could have left after seeing who he was eating with but remains there
and continues to eat. Jesus does not JUDGE who He was with when Jesus
could have easily passed JUDGMENT and it would have been in His right
Yet, Jesus does not! Jesus does not make Levi who He invited to be
His disciple feel uncomfortable. Jesus takes Levi's invitation to go
where He was at. Even if it meant being among a lot of tax collectors
and sinners. When Jesus is eating
with Levi and the other dinner guests, the Pharisees have a problem with
this. This is evident
by point 3.
Jesus hears the Pharisees remarks and responds.
When Jesus heard that the teachers of the law
who were Pharisees were asking his disciples,
does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?", Jesus said to them, "It
is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to
call the righteous, but sinners."
It is so interesting that Jesus addresses the
Pharisees directly about His willingness to eat with tax collectors and
‘sinners’ because He is indirectly telling them that He is the Great
Physician that can heal them. For that to happen, He wants to also spend
time with them. No matter where the dinner guests have come from Jesus
wants the Pharisees to know He is there for them. The other side of it
is that Jesus is also telling the Pharisees that He did not come for the
This makes me think that Jesus is alluding to
the fact that those who think they are good (a.k.a Pharisees), Jesus did
not come for them because they already think they have it all together
even though they don’t.
I saw important implications for my own life. It is so easy to JUDGE
and pass JUDGMENT on others. I learned if people are set in their ways,
we can JUDGE them all we want but it is not going to change them. Jesus
knew sinners and tax collectors were set in their ways and only His love
and compassion can heal them from this virus known as sin that has
captivated them. To do that as a GREAT PHYSICIAN, Jesus decided to spend
time with them. Whoa!
In other words, Jesus was telling them, "It is the sick that need the
doctor and not the healthy'.
Reading this passage, I could relate to Levi because those that I saw as
my sins that have been my sickness, Jesus did not abandon me but chose
to impart His irresistible grace upon my life.
Also, I knew my dad was not only physically sick but he was sick
spiritually because He did not know Jesus as His Lord and Personal
Savior. Our family wanted him to invite Jesus into his heart so much and
give his life to the Lord.
I was so thankful to the Lord Jesus for His grace and mercy to bring
back my dad to life and give him breath again so he could have an
opportunity to invite Christ into His heart and the story that follows
below is that encounter:
"When my dad was seriously ill starting on October 7th, 2007 and in the ICU
for more than 24 days, my mom was with him everyday 24-7. I was close by
in the hospital 95% of the time.
When my dad was moved to a nursing home
that could handle a tracheotomy, dialysis, peg tube, etc, my mom was
with my dad 24-7 there too and read to him the New Testament multiple times.
The time my mom spent with my dad and the prayers of all the brothers
and sisters in Christ including our family's prayers is what I believe
made my daddy give his life to Christ before he went to be with Jesus on
the night of December 17, 2007.
We thank the Lord Jesus that my dad does
not have to suffer anymore even though we miss him very much. My dad's
memoriam is on the left side bar."
God used a painful situation to remind our family that He is the same
yesterday, today, and tomorrow. What Jesus could do then He could even
do now. It started with giving my dad breath back and helping him to
come to know Jesus Christ almost 70 days later.
Those 70 days also helped us share our faith, grow in our faith and
grow closer to Jesus.
The urgency of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and inviting people
to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is as important now as it
was when my dad was in the ICU and nursing home.
Jesus words, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the
sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." is as
true now as it was during Jesus' time.
Jesus has come to save those that are lost and sick because of sin
and not for those who think they have it all together and don't need
Jesus like the Pharisees did.
The reason I am on Pitt campus working in food services is so I can
impact a lot of students with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through my
actions even if I don't utter the name of Jesus Christ with every
student I come across.
The reason I take classes is because I want to use the classes to
create sample exams with embedded Scripture verses and pass it on to
others so those who come to check the exams will also be exposed to
God's Word in the hopes they give their lives to Christ.
The reason I run
http://www.pittsburghstandard.com is to draw people to Christ
through the use of God's Word, the devotionals, and other articles. So
many events are covered in the hopes that people come to check those
events out and check our religious section called EXPRESSIONS out. We
want to also influence the masses regarding different issues from a
The reason I am on
http://www.facebook.com is a means to ministry too and to influence
my friends lives and those that are not my friends yet.
Even if one person's life is changed, it is worth it. I thank the
Lord for the opportunity to see how LOVING people without JUDGING them
can bring more powerful results than we can even
fathom at times.
The sinners and tax collectors may have never come on their own to
meet with Jesus. Levi took initiative to invite them to his house and
then Jesus was also there for all of them to meet.
I would say,
all that were there with Jesus were changed except the Pharisees because
they thought they had it together. They did not look at the LOG in their
own eyes before looking at the SPECK in the tax collector's and sinner's
When you are sick, you need to acknowledge that you are sick to have
a doctor look at you and heal you. Jesus is the Doctor and He is there
to heal. When we are humble and
acknowledge where we are at, Jesus values that.
The Pharisees thought
that they had it together and wanted to distance themselves from the
tax-collectors and “sinners” of that day. Jesus would have none of that!
Jesus reminds them that He came to seek and save the lost (a.k.a. sick)
not those who see themselves as healthy.
I learned from Levi that when Jesus invited him
to be His follower, Levi does not ignore those he knew before following
Jesus. Rather, he invites them all to have dinner with Jesus. In
essence, Levi was having an evangelistic dinner so other tax collectors
and sinners could have an encounter with Jesus. I too need to let others
know about Jesus as Levi did so that they too can have a personal
encounter with Jesus.
I ask you now dear friends, who will you invite to
dine with Jesus now?
Dear friends, when Levi was invited by Jesus to
follow Him, Levi not only followed Jesus but invited others who are
'sinners' and 'tax-collectors' like
him to his house so they too can have an encounter with Jesus. If you
are a believer in Christ, you have the wonderful opportunity to invite
those that do not know Jesus to have an encounter with Jesus. Yes, you
How much does Jesus mean
Does He mean so much to
you that you are willing to go the extra step so you can help all your friends who do
not know Jesus have Jesus as their Great Physician in there lives by
sowing the seed and allowing the Lord Jesus to water it and grow in
If Jesus means so much to
you, don’t you want others to experience the love of Jesus and have them
I know I do! You can too! For Jesus came to seek
and save the lost! Jesus did not ignore the other tax collectors and
sinners who were dining with Jesus at Levi’s house. When you bring your
friends to Jesus who do not know Jesus, He will not ignore them.
In this day, there are many ways to do that to
help your friends have an encounter with Jesus. We can do our part and
leave the results in Jesus’ Helping Hands. He is the Great Physician who
will attend to them as we introduce them to Jesus.
ANALOGY OF INVITING PEOPLE TO THE GREAT PHYSICIAN:
We are like an ambulance taking
sick people to the
hospital. People are dying and there is an emergency because of an
epidemic virus. The ambulance takes the initiative to go to the place
people are dying and bring them to the hospital. They are not dead yet
but there is no time to wait. The ambulance needs to get to the hospital
for that virus to be treated. The virus has infected the mind, body, and
soul spreading rapidly. You and I cannot do anything to heal our friends
of this virus except be the AMBULANCE taking them to the HOSPITAL where
the GREAT PHYSICIAN waits.
Once at the hospital, there is a GREAT PHYSICIAN that waits. The sick
are gathered from all corners of the earth and come to this hospital.
This hospital is called CALVARY OF SALVATION and the EMERGENCY WARD is
The GREAT PHYSICIAN is not like other doctors who can only treat
patients with physical ailments but this GREAT PHYSICIAN is much
more and knows He has to stay 72 HOURS for every dying person there to
He knows what He has to do! This GREAT PHYSICIAN knew that only His
BLOOD can wipe away this epidemic VIRUS, so for you and me He went to
the blood transfusion room where people were about to die. There He lay
down on the bed made of wood.
The surgeons walk into the room. They turn this GREAT PHYSICIAN on
His back. Instead of using an IV, a WHIP with sharp glass, etc is
used to draw out the BLOOD from the GREAT PHYSICIAN'S back! It does not
stop there but to elevate the head on the bed of wood, a CROWN OF THORNS
is used which draws more BLOOD.
As the head is elevated, the GREAT PHYSICIAN's hands are stretched
wide on the wooden bed. Then the feet are bound together. This is done
for the BLOOD transfusion to begin. Instead of using an IV, NAILS and a
HAMMER is used. The NAILS are pounded through the hands into the wooden
bed with a HAMMER so the BLOOD flows and that BLOOD is saved. The NAILS
are pounded through the feet into the wooden bed with a HAMMER so more
BLOOD flows and that BLOOD is saved. As the BLOOD continues to flow from
the GREAT PHYSICIAN's body, the GREAT PHYSICIAN flat lines. Then the
surgeons insert a SPEAR into the heart to make sure all the BLOOD is
out. All the BLOOD is out!
Now, the GREAT PHYSICIAN is moved into the JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA MORGUE
being guarded by security.
Now the CALVARY OF SALVATION hospital has a BLOOD DONOR whose BLOOD
can be used to save everyone there from this EPIDEMIC VIRUS.
Those dying need to be taken there to receive the BLOOD transfusion
that is available. However, the BLOOD will not be forced upon those
dying! THE PUREST RED ANTIDOTE is only given to those that are willing
to receive the BLOOD TRANSFUSION so they could LIVE.
All that accept the BLOOD are being CLEANSED of this EPIDEMIC VIRUS
in their system that is infecting the mind, body, and soul. This
BLOOD goes into the dying person's mind, body, and soul and eats away at
the virus cleaning them and making them pure. This VIRUS is known as
SIN. The BLOOD is the PRECIOUS CLEANSING BLOOD OF THE GREAT PHYSICIAN,
The WOODEN BED is the CROSS OF CHRIST where the dying need to be led
72 HOURS LATER, there is a commotion at the JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA
MORGUE. THE GREAT PHYSICIAN is not there anymore and the ANGELS that
visit tell loved ones who came there, that THE GREAT PHYSICIAN IS ALIVE
and will save all that come to Him.
It is true even to this day, for all that come to the HOSPITAL OF CALVARY come to realize that His CLEANSING
BLOOD shed on the WOODEN BED (CROSS) will never run out. Anyone infected
who wants to be healed of their sickness can accept what Jesus did for
them and be covered in His precious CLEANSING
I have done that friend and know that at the foot of the cross where
Jesus died shedding His precious cleansing blood for my sin and the sins
of the world, I can find forgiveness and grace.
Thanks be to God that Christ's death on the cross was temporary to
remove all His precious cleansing blood for our sake but after He was
buried, Jesus came back to life to save.
To this day, all who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved when
they acknowledge what Jesus Christ has done for them and what He can do
Friend, Jesus loves you so much and if you were the only one living
on earth, Jesus would have done the same for you. What I shared with you
was an analogy but in real life it has happened. Jesus went to the cross
for you and me and His precious cleansing blood was shed so you and I
could have life. Jesus came back to life 72 hours later and is alive but
His blood continues to heal people on every corner of the earth to those
that accept Him.
You have the wonderful opportunity to bring the dying to Jesus if you
know Jesus already. If you do not know Jesus, you can come to Him and
receive His healing in your life.
Won't you my friends? Won't you do that?
Once we introduce them, we have to let Jesus handle the rest. We need
to do our part but it is Jesus that makes the seed grow inside a person.
He has already paid the price to set us free. We need to accept it!
There are different ways we can invite others to
Jesus and I want to share them with you. These are not exhaustive but
what I have found to be helpful:
J.E.S.U.S group (Jesus Empowering Students
Evangelistic Bible Studies/ Seeker
sensitive Bible studies/Investigative Bible Studies/GIG's (Groups
Relational Evangelism/Friendship Evangelism
willing to work with and help anyone who wants to reach their friends
for Christ using those different means as we depend on our Lord Jesus
Christ to save and heal. You have the opportunity to invite
those who do not know Jesus to encounter Jesus!
Jesus loves you so much and paid the price to
set you free. You are never out of His love, never
out of His reach. His Blood is for you! May you experience the love of Jesus Christ in a
most powerful way! Amen!
“Introduce Now Valiantly
Invitation Towards Emmanuel! (I.N.V.I.T.E)"/"Who
do you invite to dine with Jesus now?”
Dear Lord Jesus thank you
so much for dining with Levi and his friends. You do not make his
friends seem like outcasts. You knew they were not healthy spiritually
and came to heal them of their sickness. Thank you for coming to heal me
by your blood. I thank you Lord for coming
into this world to bring your healing to humanity. Thank you for all
those who you invite to be part of your Kingdom. Oh Lord, I believe when you
went to the cross for us, you made an invitation to humanity to come to
you. Thank you for being our GREAT PHYSICIAN! Thank you Lord those that come to you, you will not turn away. I
thank you Jesus for dying for our sin and coming back to life to save
us. Help us to remember what you did for us! Help us to live for you and serve you all the days of our lives and
invite our friends who do not know you to come to encounter you. Guide
us and please lead us reminding us that it is you who are the Great
Physician. Help us to do our part and leave the results in your Helping
Hands. I thank you that your precious cleansing blood was shed for
humanity. You took all our pain and sins and by your wounds and stripes
we are healed. Help us Jesus please! Thank you Jesus for everything. We entrust our lives to you. In
Your Name I Pray Jesus! Amen!
You can invite the GREAT PHYSICIAN right now as you make this your prayer.
How do you look at GODISNOWHERE?
One of my pastors, Pastor Hugo SHARED this
example one Sunday at the
RESURRECTION DAY SERVICE in the combined worship service of Pittsburgh
Chinese Church-Oakland & Oakland International Fellowship:
you look at it as GOD IS NO WHERE, you will still be lost in your sin
and be in bondage locked away in your sins and problems finding no
as my pastor spoke to the congregation and spoke to me, I am here to
tell you that GOD IS NOW HERE.
friend God is alive and wants to bring a transformation in your life
through the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ for He paid the penalty on
the cross to rescue you and me and came back to life to save us and LIVE
friend that is exciting to know that we can experience HIS SAVING GRACE
& LIVING GRACE.
we mess up, we can go to Jesus with our shortcomings and He will forgive
us and RESTORE us to Him and we will find peace in Him.
"For the wages
of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
Lord." (Romans 6:23, NIV)
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the
light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his
Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive
ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all
unrighteousness." (1 John 1:7-9, NIV)
Friend, we need Jesus because we have been separated from God due to our
sin. Because of our sin, Jesus had to pay the price to become our bridge
so we can reach God now not of our own good works but because of the
finished work of Christ, the Lord on the cross.
"For it is by GRACE you have been saved,
through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not
by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV)