Summary: We are called to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ to anyone. Christ gives us an example. Studies in the Gospel of Mark
A CALL TO REACH ANYONE Mark 2:13-17
1. Read a small booklet several years ago by Joseph Stowell entitled (I hope this is right) Loving Those You Would Rather Hate.
He talk about the issues of homosexuality, race, ethnic diversity, etc.
2. I read a story the other day about a homeless man. Smelling of the streets he attempted to attend a church. There he met resistance from the people until he eventually went outside and sat on the steps of the church. The Lord spoke to him and asked, “What’s the matter?” He replied, “The won’t let me into their church.” “That’s okay,” replied the Lord, “I’ve been trying to get in there for years and they won’t let Me in either.”
3. Who are the people that we would not want to relate to? Is it because of their appearance? Their lifestyle? Their heritage? Their religion?
4. This is God’s desire: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
5. Jesus give us a good example in these verses of how He wants us to reach out to anyone he sends our way.
I. LOVE: COMPELLED TO REACH ANYONE
A. While teaching on the lakeside, Jesus encounters Levi.
B. Levi was:
• Hated tax-collector. In those days no one knew how much taxes they owed, so it was easy for the tax-collector to get as much as he could to line his own pockets.
• Ostracized by the Jews. They were considered traitors who worked for the hated Roman government. Would not allow a tax-collector in the synagogue. They were believed to be liars so their testimony would not hold up in court.
• These were men who were classed with murderers, robbers, harlots, sinners, and of course Gentiles.
C. Jesus heart reaches out to Levi, not because of what others saw, but what he sees as the potential for a life given to Him.
D. It is easy to concentrate on the outside of someone, but does the love of God compel us to see others with the eyes of Jesus? Levi becomes Matthew, with means “The gift of God.”
E. When I lived in Effingham, IL, we had a man by the name of Granville, that was unique in his behavior and dress. Because of this he had separated himself from the others of our community. My District Superintendent came one day to preach in our church, and he had stopped to get a drink, and met Granville there. He spent about a half an hour speaking and witnessing to Granville. My first reaction was very negative, but then I began to realize that Dr. Hancock did not know are even care about Granville and his separation from the community. All he saw was a man in need of the Savior!
F. We need to allow Jesus to use us to share with anyone.
II. ACCEPTANCE: CRAVING TO RELATE WITH ANYONE
A. One of the first things that Matthew did was to invite his friends to meet with Jesus.
B. His friends would have been like him – tax-collectors and sinners.
Note: The longer we are Christian, the smaller our circle of influence with the world becomes. Christ met Matthew as He was ministering along the lake. He was always looking for opportunities to minister.
C. A clear distinction was drawn between those who kept the law and those whom they called the people of the land. The people of the land were the common mob who did not observe all the rules and the regulations of conventional Pharisaic piety. By the orthodox it was forbidden to have anything to do with these people. The strict law-keeper must have no fellowship with them at all. He must not talk with them nor go on a journey with them; as far as possible, he must not even do business with them; to marry a daughter to one of them was as bad as giving her over to a wild beast; above all, he must not accept hospitality from or give hospitality to such a person. By going to Matthew’s house and sitting at his table and companying with his friends Jesus was defying the orthodox conventions of his day. Barclays Daily Bible Study
D. We have worked so hard to insulate ourselves from the world:
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
2 Cor 6:14-15
We cannot be tied to the world and their system of values, goals and direction.