High School Director Ian Wheeler preaching on Mark 2:13-17. In the passage of Levi being called Ian shared on how Jesus has come to call those in need, not those who think they’re fine. Jesus models what discipleship looks like by entering into Levi’s life and Levi completely surrendering who he was for who Jesus is calling him be.
13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
- I grew up in Georgia in a small town about 1900 people. We went to church every Sunday because that’s what you just did, but when I was about six years old we changed churches and my parents began to model what a disciple of Jesus Christ looked like. They began to make these huge life changes to aline their lives with what Jesus taught. They sold their house because of the cycle of debt that it had our family in, they got plugged into the ministries of the church and we went on a mission trip to Peru. As I saw these changes and the joy that followed I wanted to do the same, so at the age of 8 I accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior. It was interesting through middle school. I struggled with trusting God in all areas of my life. I was living life only doing the things that I wanted to do. Just following the desires of my heart. This created an emptiness because we are all created to worship something but I didn’t have Jesus where he belonged. As I went into high school I began to understand this cycle of moving from one thing to another trying to satisfy my needs. I had tried many things (Friends, Hobbies, sports) and had found that Jesus truly is the one that satisfies. I begin to get plugged into my youth group again and focusing on living a life that glorified Christ. I got accepted to the university of Oregon my senior year and began preparing for what that change was going to bring to my life. This was a time that my faith was tested and strengthened. I faced many new challenges playing college football and being submerged in that culture and also moving across the country. I was able to trust in the truth of God’s word because I had seen its truth in my parents lives and my life. I was also a part of The Good Fight which is the college ministry of UFC. Having a Church and fellowship played a huge role in my ability to say no to many of the activities of college culture. I am not perfect by any means. I am a sinner saved by the grace of God and I still fail to hit his mark each day. Lets look at his word and learn more about this God we serve.
13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them.
- What does Jesus do with his influence?
He spreads the most important information in human history (The gospel) Mark 1:15
- What are you guys doing with your influence?
You guys have lots of influence in your schools.
We need to be spreading the saving message of the Gospel.
14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
Jesus is choosing his disciples, this is a huge deal.
Jesus is picking the people that will walk with him and tell his message to the world. Although, He doesn’t necessarily pick someone I would.
Who is this tax collector?
- Works for Roman rulers collecting tax from Jewish community
- Jews rejected tax collectors for their involvement with the oppression from Rome
- They are stuck at the margins of Rome and Jewish society
When everyone saw an undesirable tax collector, Jesus saw a bearer of God’s Image.
Do we see people as image bearers of God?
Jesus does, and he sees their real need.
(Last week we see Jesus forgives the man’s sins, then he offered physical healing we get to see Jesus priorities. (soul first))
I know you guys have had times in your lives, maybe even this week, where you should share the gospel. We often think of excuses in the moment so we can rationalize that we should wait. We need to understand the importance of this news. We need to see people as souls in need of a savoir, pointing them to Jesus.
15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
As I talked about I am from georgia. This culture places the people you are eating with just as high as the food you eat. There is a level of friendship or family to the people who gather for a meal.
- Jesus is in Levi’s house. This shows a equal level of acceptance. They are eating together. Levi has let Christ into his home.
- Jesus is also modeling how to make a disciple. That is our calling and he is showing us here. Jesus is apart of Levis life in an intimate way. Jesus longs for this.
- I struggled with this in high school. Opening up my house to Jesus. I was fine opening up my Church to Jesus. This is hard to do.
- I am sure you guys have felt the same way. Why is this is hard to do.
- It requires surrender, a full surrender of our lives to Jesus.
- (Original sin (Good Vs Evil) We want to be in charge.
- As Christians people should see Jesus in all areas of our lives. (relationships, money, school)
16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
- I really do not like conflict. It is something that I just find no enjoyment in. There are only a few things that would push me over the edge to engage in conflict. One of those is bullying. It makes me so mad to see one humans pride allow for them to take advantage of other because of their view ot them.
- These Scribe’s are also sinners. We know that all people have sinned. ( Romans 3:23)
- These scribes have a self righteous pride because they believe they are earning their faith. They look down on the ones that are visibly more sinful than they are.
- But like I said earlier, I wouldn’t have wanted Levi on my team either. I commit the same sin the pharisees scribes do!
Are we humble as Jesus is? Are we listening to his teaching and understand that we are all forgiven
“ For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8–9)
We have no reason to be prideful.
17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
- He came for the sinner so, he is around sinners.
- There is something unique to this gospel that Jesus is spreading. It is that only a humble and repentant person will receive it.
- Jesus isn’t afraid of what the pharisees think of him. He is concerned for the souls of the ones around him.
Are we just surrounding ourselves with christian fellowship? That isn’t bad, but if our mission is to make disciples are we interacting with non believers. Again Jesus is showing us something here. He isn’t hanging out with the sinners to do what they do but to offer his gospel to them.
His job isn’t done when he shares his message he is a part of their lives. He walks with them.
The God of the universe came down to earth taking on flesh to reconcile hopeless sinners to Himself through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. Jesus Christ on the cross bore the penalty of sin so that those who repent and believe in Him may have eternal life through the righteousness given to them by Christ.