Whenever someone does something for Jesus, that person will not have too long to wait before the critics will come along. It is interesting that the critics did not focus on Levi, but on Jesus.
The disciples must have told Jesus what the critics were saying. In their example, we have the best response to criticism. Maybe they could not give a coherent answer to what the Pharisees were questioning them about. Yet they had learned to bring issues to Jesus. Of course, they could do so physically and watch what he did in response. We have to do so in prayer and then wait for him to work.
The critics did not understand Jesus at all. If they really wanted an answer to their question, then they should have asked Jesus personally. Nevertheless, he gave them the answer, and we should be very thankful that he did because his words reveal to us who we are, who he is, and what he was doing.
Jesus uses an obvious daily experience to illustrate spiritual realities. We can easily see the connections: those who are well are the righteous, those who are sick are sinners, and the physician is Jesus. In this sense, there is no one who is righteous among sinners.
But we have to ask what kind of illness do sinners have in a spiritual sense? The answer is that they have a widespread illness, a spreading illness and a lethal illness. It is widespread in that it affects every part of them, it is spreading in that it increases in its influence, and it is lethal in that it will lead to what the Bible describes as eternal death.
What kind of doctor is Jesus? How easy is it to have a meeting with Jesus? One of the obvious details with a doctor is that usually he can only deal with one person at a time. In contrast, Jesus can deal with all of his patients at any time. Moreover, he comes on repeated visits and does not wait until we make an appointment. Levi had not asked Jesus to come to his desk that morning, and his friends had not asked Jesus to come to Levi’s house to see them. The fact is that Jesus delights to bring his ability to heal right to those who are ill.
Where did Jesus find his cure? We are aware that some doctors and others have spent many years trying to find a cure for certain health problems. He provided his cure himself when he died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins. The provision of this cure required that he spend his lifetime obeying God and then offering himself as a perfect sacrifice instead of those who were ill.
How does Jesus implement his cure? Sometimes when we go to a doctor he has to send us to a specialist because the problem requires that process and the patient needs the best treatment available. Jesus is the Specialist when it comes to dealing with the problem of sin and its consequences, so he does not send us to anyone else. He is the Specialist because he is both God and man.
What kind of cure does Jesus provide? Often, the cures that we receive come in stages and may take a while to appear. The cure that Jesus provides also comes in stages and here are four of them. First, when we repent of our sins we are forgiven and receive his righteousness as ours because we have responded in faith. Second, we are given the Holy Spirit to indwell us and he begins to change us and make us holy, and he will do this throughout the rest of our lives. Third, when our life comes to an end, our souls will go to heaven to be with Jesus, and we at the moment of death will become perfect in holiness. Fourth, our bodies will be resurrected and we will be glorified when Jesus returns.
How much does Jesus charge for his services? The answer to this question is that every stage in the healing process is provided free. The biblical term for this is grace, and Jesus is full of grace. In any case, none of us could purchase the remedy because all our assets are worthless. What is required of us is that we respond to the invitation of the gospel and commit ourselves into the care of Jesus. When we do that, we will discover that he is the good Physician for everyone, which was the message that he gave when he called Levi to be an apostle.