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Discover Discipleship | Mark 2:13-17

Discover Discipleship | Mark 2:13-17

Sermon Transcript

Jesus was a friend to sinners, but so many people see the church as the last place they would go to find hope. What's the disconnect? Join us as Pastor Greg Triplett takes a look at Mark 2:13-17 and walks us through transformative insights from Jesus' words and engagement with others.


Story: What’s so amazing about grace – Church, why would I want to go there?


Setting (v. 13)

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.

Sea of Galilee -> Early in Jesus’ ministry -> Large crowds gathered -> taught them

Jesus often took a boat across the lake. Why?

  1. Quicker
  2. Cheaper

14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

Sees Levi (know from other gospels is another name for Matthew)…invites him to “Follow me”

Why did Jesus choose to call Levi?

Levi was a tax collector:

  • Jewish, but worked for the Roman government
  • Raise prices to pad their pockets
  • Often did very well for themselves…but not in an honest manner
  • Needless to say, tax collectors were not well liked


I. Jesus’ Call is Not Based on Your Righteousness or Reputation (v. 14)

Story – More Than a Carpenter, Josh McDowell coming to faith in Jesus

Whether Levi, a despised tax collector, or Josh, who in many ways despised himself…Christ is calling out to the broken, hungry people in our world, “Follow me.”

1 Corinthians 1:28–29 (NIV)

28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

Q: Do you believe that Jesus is calling the unrighteous, the unworthy, the unwanted, the unloved?

Jesus’ Call is Not Based on Your Righteousness or Reputation


II. Jesus’ Company is Not Conditioned Upon Your Sins or Social Status (vs. 15,16)

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

  • Levi becomes a follower of Jesus…and invites Jesus to dinner at his house (“Levi held a great banquet for Jesus” – Luke 5:29)
  • Who is there? – “many tax collectors and sinners”
    • More tax collectors?
    • More sinners? (Our version today? Them? Those people?)
  • Why?
    • Levi’s colleagues and friends
    • Jesus’ followers – “there were many who followed him”

Sinners drawn to Jesus!

Not only drawn…but included! “having dinner” – συνανέκειντο – to recline at the table with

Story: When I think about my story…a story of God’s grace…I was included!!!

…not everyone is okay with that!

16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

“teachers of the law” -> scribes -> highly educated, scholars

“Pharisees” -> an important Jewish political and religious party of the time

Saw, and asked, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (informed & conformed)

Herein lies the tension…Whose attitude at this dinner party do you most often embody?

Romans 2:1-4 (NIV)

2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Christ has shown kindness to you, a sinner. Here, Christ is showing kindness to tax collectors and sinners…and it is one the ways, that our Christian faith shines most brightly…

Q: Do you ever avoid others because of who they are or what they have done?

Q: Do you judge others because of their sins or social status?

Jesus’ Call is Not Based on Your Righteousness or Reputation

Jesus’ Company is Not Conditioned Upon Your Sins or Social Status


III. Jesus Came for Those Who Need Him (v. 17)

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Irony of the statement – we are all sick!

Matthew 9:13 (NIV) -. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’

Luke 18:9–14 (NIV)

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Story – Josh McDowell’s father coming to faith in Jesus…

“God became man, His name is Jesus. And He is passionate about a relationship with you.”


Jesus -> Community -> Membership -> Discipleship -> Disciple Making

Closing analogy:

Doctor gave you the cure…will you point others to the great physician?

Paralyzed man’s friends carried him

Not informed…not conformed…come meet Jesus and be transformed!

Application: Close in prayer…raised hands (adoration + surrender)