Matt Summerfield – Church Weekend 2011 Saturday Morning Session 1

Mark 2:13-17
The calling of Levi

Levi was despised. He worked for the oppressors. He was also very greedy. He took his cut to make his money. He was a traitor to his own. The Pharisees called them ‘scum.’
The church (the synagogue) of the day kept them out believing they were doing God’s work.

Who are the modern day tax collectors?
We all have our prejudices.

Everyone is expecting Jesus to give him both barrels. No grace, no forgiveness for him. That’s what the church was teaching. YET Jesus said “come follow me.”

These words were only said by Rabbi’s to the very best of the best, but here Jesus calls the worst of the worse. This is not the way the church had been doing it.

Jesus says to you: “I want you”. He sees not just who we are but who we will become.

Tax collectors are rich. They had lots of privilege. He was giving all that up. Who would come to his party? Only other ‘scum!’
Jesus said he was spending time with them because they know their sin is a problem. They don’t pretend that they have got it all together v16-17.

Jesus comes for those kind of people. Aren’t you glad? We are those kinds of people. We all have a secret life.

Two responses:
(1) Jesus is not searching for people who have got it all together.
(2) We must live like him. What fences are we putting up that stop others getting in?