Year 2 Day 60
Read - Mark 2:13-17
Message - Alan Burke
‘Why does he associate with people like this?’ ‘Why?’ That’s what the scribes thought of Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors. To them it was scandalous, shocking, outrageous, undeserved, Jesus had compromised himself by doing this. Look what Jesus says to their questioning of what he was doing… “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (17). Jesus came not to call the righteous, those who think they are healthy but those who know that they are sinners and in need of help. Given that mission, it is as senseless for Jesus to shun tax collectors and sinners as for a doctor to shun the sick.
Levi was a sinner, he was called by Jesus into fellowship with himself. Likewise today Jesus calls all who will hear to “Repent and believe the good news”. If you have not yet repented then here the call of Jesus to repent of your sins and believe, follow him. For those of us who have, know that we are justified by faith alone in Christ alone. “You did not choose me, but I chose you,” Jesus says (Jn 15:16). The grace that we are shown is scandalous, shocking, outrageous, undeserved it should cause us to be filled with praise and just what grace is. None of us deserve it but it is freely give. Scandalous grace.
Then we have the scribes, who believed they were righteous, they thought they had no need to repent, they thought they were healthy. The irony is that they were not righteous and they had as much need to repent as Levi for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, there is not one righteous. They did all the religious stuff, they were moral, they were in their minds in no need of a saviour, but they were.
Sadly I meet people all too often, from both inside and outside the church who do all the religious stuff who can’t see their need of a saviour. Yet there is only one way to avoid the wrath of God against our sin and that is through the Jesus who calls us to follow him. We need this scandalous grace as much as the worst of sinners. Levi responded to this scandalous call of Jesus and from Luke’s gospel we learn of another name for Levi, it was Matthew. The name Matthew means ‘gift of God', this low life scumbag Levi was called by Jesus and was used to take this offer of this scandalous grace to all those around him and likewise we are to do the same.
Q68 What is required in the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, (Eph. 5:28–29) and the life of others. (1 Kings 18:4)