by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Stewardship of a Patchless Life (1 of 5)
Series: Stewardship of His Gifts
Jeff Strite
Luke 5:27-39

OPEN: I've noticed over the years that kids love jokes that are plays on words. For example, when I was a kid (now I never did this myself, you understand), but I've known kids who would call a neighbor and ask: ''Is your refrigerator running?'' (pause). When the person on the other end of the line said ''Yes'', they'd laugh and say ''Well, you better go and catch it before it gets away.''

Another of my favorites was ''How do you get down off an elephant?'' Well, you don't get ''down'' off an elephant; you get down off a duck.

And one I've always enjoyed:
''Pie are square?
No, pie are not square.
Pie are round.
Cornbread are square.''

Now I've told you those silly jokes so I could ask this one:
''When is a door not a door?'' (pause)
''When it's 'ajar''' (a jar)

Essentially the joke is saying:
A door is not a door - when it is ''something else''.
And that concept - that one thing can become ''something else'' - lies at the very heart of our story this morning.

In Luke 5 we read about Jesus at the beginning of His ministry.He has been teaching, and healing throughout Galilee, and He's in the process of gathering the 12 men who are to become His closest followers. And now, He's stopped at the booth of a man that Luke calls Levi (Matthew) to ask him to follow Him.
Levi was a tax collector.

Now for those of you not familiar with Scripture, tax collectors were NOT well liked back then. Their job was to collect taxes for Rome, hated occupiers of their homeland. And these collectors of Roman taxes made their living by taking a little extra off the top for themselves. And if they thought you could give a ''little'' extra - well, so much the better. There was not court of appeals. Whatever these men said you had to pay - you paid - you had no choice.

Thus, the Jews hated these tax collectors and viewed them as little better than prosti ...

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