Summary: This is a look at our outreach as a Church and as individuals. Its a call to relavent engagement.

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Engagement or Exclusion? Mark 2.13-17

We see here the beginings of conflict with the Pharisees. It is an underlying theme set right through the gospel; Between the Pharisees and Jesus over the character of God and forgiveness.

The four stories that follow continue this theme: Eating with tax collectors and sinners 13-17, questioned about fasting 18-22, Picking wheat on the Sabbath 23-28 and healing on the Sabbath 3.1-6. Here the main emphasis is upon Jesus as the one who engages with sinners in contrast to the Pharisees who exclude sinners.

1) Jesus’s engages Levi to follow. v14

a) His call is effectual. The psalmist tells us the voice of the lord is powerful.

The voice of creation is the voice of the new creation the one who as power over all!

We have witnessed this powerful voice already through the early stages of Mark: He has called people to repent and believe the good news 1:15

He called s the fisherman to follow him V17

He called demons to come out of a man V25.

He exercised those in the crowds of demons 1v34

He granted forgiveness to a paralyzed man 2v5.

Why Levi? God’s sovereign choice Rom.8: 28 -30 Predestined call Rom.9:;12 which is an engaging call.

b) His engaging call is to the most unlikely

Loathed by others

Here we have Levi working on the shores of Capernaum in his official capacity a tax collector, loathed by his fellow countryman for working with the Romans and being unscrupulous in his dealings with fellow Jews it was common knowledge that they ripped people of in regard to the tax

It reminds me of the conservative politician Jonathan Atkin. who was busted for purgery and loathed and ostrisced by fellow politicians. Sentenced to prison but had a quiet conversion prior to going inside.

Maybe excluded by others but engaged by God.

Levi was loved by God

We can draw from this is that no matter what your background, no matter how low in sin you go. No matter how dis-liked you are by people there is …..

Rom.5: 20 where sin increased, grace increased all the more.

Grace has no bounds!

Grace can transform anybody at anytime: from the homosexual who is in a wrong relationship to the heterosexual who is deep in adultery from the corrupted politician to the drug addicted musician, from the hypocritical family member to the skeptic who has no faith.

God can save anybody, He saved you why not others?

c) His call is to service often with the gifts you have.

He also takes hold of a life and brings about a greater purpose for it, which is ultimately to bring glory to God through your life. Here we see the wonderful conversion and calling of Levi the tax collector, whom becomes known as Matthew one of the twelve apostles. He take hold of those gifts which he had of record keeping and uses them for the greater purpose of writing a Gospel.

 Where has God gifted you to serve him for his great purpose.

In music, In computers, with children, in writing, practical skills, communicating with others, financial skills, encouraging, caring and so on..

2) Levi responds by engaging others.

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Jim Westheim

commented on Jan 4, 2007

Great balance and approach to the message principle. Inspires a heart of passion for the mission and cause of Christ.

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