Luke 5:29

Dining with Sinners

29 Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for Him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were guests[a] with them.

Luke 5:29 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 5:29

And Levi made him a great feast in his own house
At Capernaum, which, very likely, was made some time after his call, though recorded here; for it is not reasonable to think there could be time enough that day to get ready so great a feast, as this is said to be Levi, it should seem, was a rich man, and in gratitude to Christ for his special grace and honour bestowed on him, made this entertainment for him; and he seems to have had also another view in it, to bring him into the company of his fellow publicans, hoping he might be useful to them, as he had been to him; for of this nature is true grace, to wish for, and desire the salvation of the souls of others, as well as a man's own:

and there was a great company of publicans, and of others:
(Myrxa) , which word is sometimes used in Talmudic writings for Gentiles; so (Myrxa tva) , "the wife of others", is interpreted the wife of the Cuthites, or Samantans F6: and thus the Jews explain the text in ( Deuteronomy 24:14 ) "thou shalt not oppress an hired servant, that is poor and needy", whether he be "of thy brethren", on which they make this remark, (Myrxal jrp) , "this excepts others"; that, is, as the gloss interprets it, it excepts the nations of the world, or the Gentiles: they go on to expound the text, "or of thy strangers that are in thy land"; these are the proselytes of righteousness: "within thy gates"; these are they that eat things that are torn F7: so that the "others" are distinguished from the Jews, and from both the proselytes of righteousness, and of the gate; and it is easy to observe, that publicans and Heathens are sometimes mentioned together: here it means sinners, as appears from ( Matthew 9:10 ) ( Mark 2:15 ) such the Gentiles were reckoned:

that sat down with them;
being invited by Matthew.


F6 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 52. 2. & Gloss. in ib.
F7 T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 111. 2. & Gloss. in lb.

Luke 5:29 In-Context

27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, "Follow Me!"
28 So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him.
29 Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for Him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were guests with them.
30 But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to His disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"
31 Jesus replied to them, "The healthy don't need a doctor, but the sick do.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Lit were reclining (at the table); at important meals the custom was to recline on a mat at a low table and lean on the left elbow.
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