No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes (Luke 5:36, MSG)
When you read the Gospels, you discover that the Pharisees and religious scholars favored the familiar. They kept things kosher. The way we’ve always done it.
So when Jesus invited Levi, a hated tax collector, to “come, follow me” and the moral reprobate dropped his coin purse and walked with Jesus, you could have bought the Status Quo Border Patrol for a nickel.
To make matters worse, Levi threw a dinner party with the finest china, crystal wine goblets, and gold-plated utensils stolen tax money could buy and invited every tax-collecting friend and other “despicable me’” he knew . . . plus Jesus! This Jesus, who increased faith so radically with an unfamiliar joy in his work that showed more love for God and others, could perhaps help save his friends from themselves, too, he thought.
The Champions of Correctness couldn’t stand idly by while this defiant assault of their familiar by the new went on. From Levi’s front yard, they said loud enough to be overheard by those in the big house, “What is he [Jesus] doing eating and drinking with crooks and ‘sinners’?” (Luke 5:30).
Do you hear the “we’ve never done it this way before” in their voices?
Jesus stuck his head out the door and said, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting outsiders . . . to a changed life, changed inside and out” (Luke 5:31–32).
Can you imagine how quiet things got around the dinner table about then? Surely Levi smiled. He got it. Faith, joy, and love are required to reverse the effects of the negative world at work.
Surely his reprobate friends got it, too. Jesus was talking about them. They knew they were sick and needed a doctor. But not just any doctor. One whose faith, joy, and love for his work were accessible to them.
Realizing they were losing, a scholar said, “John’s disciples are well-known for keeping fasts and saying prayers. Also the Pharisees. But you seem to spend most of your time at parties. Why?” (Luke 5:33).
“No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes,” Jesus said (Luke 5:36).
Jesus says change is frightening because you prefer the old work clothes of the way you’ve always done it. Change gives you a headache because you have to repeatedly perceive the unfamiliar, intentionally choosing to suspend your judgment in pursuit of God’s positive way in the world.
The reality is what you’ve been doing no longer works. Put on the fine silk scarf, the new fabric that matches what God is doing in the world.
Wear God’s new fine silk scarf to work and increase your faith with greater joy so you love God and others more. Then watch who gets changed, inside and out.
Work Faith Positive in this negative world.
Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 best-selling author of two books, the latest of which is Faith Positive in a Negative World with co-author, Mike Van Vranken. He is our keynote speaker at the May 1-2 Leadership Gathering at Eagle Eyrie. Register for this experience at http://eagleeyrie.org/events/leadership-gathering-2015/ Subscribe to the Faith Positive blog at www.GetPositive.Today