THE SERVANT GENERAL
EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
Today’s gospel: Luke 5:27-32
The call to Levi gives us some basic principles about our
work as evangelizers.
First, why do we need to evangelize? Because there are sick
people who need a physician (Lk 5:31). The greatest sickness
is sin, and so the cure is repentance and faith. People who
are in sin need to experience salvation. This salvation has
already been won by Jesus on the cross. Jesus is the Great
Physician. He brings spiritual healing and restoration.
Second, we evangelize those who are sinners and not the righteous
(Lk 5:32). The righteous have no further need to be called
to repentance, because they have already repented (but of
course, repentance is ongoing, as falling into sin is continuing).
This has a practical consequence in the way we evangelize.
We have to go after those sinners, whom we will find in the
normal day-to-day circumstances of our lives--among our friends,
relatives, officemates, neighbors, etc. We do not just announce
renewal programs in church (though there are churchgoers who
are still in need of repentance), but rather we go after those
who do not go to church.
Third, as Jesus calls us to be his instruments for proclaiming
the good news of salvation and has made himself dependent
upon us, then we need to seriously apply ourselves to the
work as evangelizers. We get up and follow Jesus, leaving
everything behind (Lk 5:28), meaning to say, we consider this
call and work to be of the highest priority. It is God himself
who calls, it is divine work itself that we are given, and
it is the very salvation of others that are at stake. What
greater work could there be for a disciple of Christ?
Fourth, realizing the great privilege in this call, we must
rejoice. We become co-workers of Christ himself. We become
instruments of salvation. If we truly realized what is happening,
we should actually give a great banquet in celebration (Lk
Fifth, since we are doing God’s all-important work,
we will certainly be opposed by the enemy. Even our relatives
and friends might complain (Lk 5:30), failing to understand
why we are doing what we are doing. We simply continue, knowing
how Jesus himself, and now Levi, were criticized and maligned.
Jesus is constantly looking for workers to bring in the harvest.
He sees ordinary people going about their day-to-day tasks,
and says to them, “Follow me.” (Lk 5:27). We have
already received that call. We have already been extended
the wonderful privilege. Let us continue, with great joy,