Summary: Loving God's way is courageous and dangerous.

• Bible’s definition of love, not an emotion, but a choice and commitment.

• God is calling you to a brave new love because God is calling you to a brave new life.

• God wants to unchain you, free you from the restraints that prevent you from fully surrendering to Him and fully loving others.

• It requires complete surrender to Him, and surrender is a scary proposition..

• Completely surrendering to Him is the ONLY way to make sure the troubles of this life do not become troubles in our hearts.

• Today, we look at Mark 2, Jesus continues his ministry and sees his reputation grow.

Mar 2:13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them.

• Sea of Tiberias, short walk from Capernium.

• Here again is the multitude, and the teaching.

Mar 2:14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him.

• Levi is Matthew. Sitting at a tax toll booth.

• He was a tax collector of the worse kind.

• He was not only working for the hated Romans….

• He was a Jew working for the Romans….a traitor.

• Doing the most hated job.

• There was a financial reason to hate Levi (he collected more than the government demanded.)

• There was a political reason to hate Levi (he worked for the Romans who controlled the promise land)

• There was a religious reason to hate him (he collected taxes to support a pagan people and government).

• There were social reasons to hate him (he took from the poor and gave to the rich, profiting from it at the people’s expense)

• Pharisee law was that if anyone worked for the Romans and collected their taxes, they were forbidden to enter the Synagogue and were treated as despised enemies.

• This man faced social rejection from his own people.

• We do not know what was happening in his personal life.

• We do know this, when Jesus said come, he got up immediately and followed Jesus.

• We see something beautiful happen in his life also…..

Mar 2:15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi's house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.

• I can imagine that Jesus met a need in Matthew’s life that he had been hungering for.

• But that was not enough for him.

• I love it that he immediately became a missionary in the only way he could imagine.

• He scheduled a party for his old buddies.

• He wanted them to meet this Jesus. An instant missionary.

• Affective? There were many and they followed Jesus.

• But when Jesus is reaching people, somebody religious gets upset…..

Mar 2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"

• Why did the religious go to the disciples instead of directly to Jesus?

• Could it be they wanted to erode His support base?

• Nevertheless, the scribes and Pharisees didn’t like Jesus’ company.

• They complained that He preferred their company to the religious people.

• I think that spurred Jesus response to these religious people.

Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

• It is not the well who need a physicians, but the sick.

• The Pharisees thought of themselves as well. They weren’t.

• Jesus didn’t confront that false impression.

• He just addressed the irrationality of their logic.

• If they were well, why would Jesus come to them?

• But the truth is, they were blind to their own desperation.

• If not for the trials in our lives, all of us would consider ourselves OK.

• The popular psychology system tries to teach us IM OK-YOU”RE OK.

• We find within ourselves a commitment to prove to ourselves, if to no one else, that we aren’t so bad.

• However, we never really come to believe it. Because we know…..

• And when we approach God on His throne in worship or prayer, we know….

• God offers a cleanness, wholeness, that come to us through the opposite direction than what everything else is screaming.

• God has placed in your heart not to be satisfied with anything less than a brave new life and a brave new love.

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