6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Your sufferings, struggles, burdens, and needs are Jesus Concern

Title: You are His Concern "The Calling of Matthew"

Mark 2:13-17

Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. [14] As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

[15] While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house; many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. [16] When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and ’sinners’?"

[17] On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

This morning I want to examine the calling of Matthew, Jesus Disciple and Apostle. For we see in his story the kind of Love God has for all those who are sick, burdened with sin, forsaken and ashamed.

Jesus came for the sick

For sinners

For you and me

And this morning We need to apprehend to grasp the fact that your sufferings, your struggles, your burdens, and your needs

That Your Life

Are Jesus Concern

John 6:37-38

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.


Mark s Gospel introduces us to Matthew with the words:

"As he (Jesus) walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him"

What does this verse tell us.

1. Matthew’s father was Alpheus, -which is important, because there was a James among the twelve who also had a Father by this name.

Matthew 10:3 lists the names of the apostles and includes --

Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;

It is very possible then that they were brothers.

Secondly we see

2. That he was originally called Levi. Which means "Adhesion" The name was coined by Leah wife of Jacob in the Genesis 29:34

Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi.

I guess if you wanted someone who would stick to a job you called for Levi. "Mr Adhesion"

3. But, there is no question that the important point about this man’s life was that he was a tax collector, or publican,

Publican- means a person in public life and service.

His position was a political office that had been created by the Romans to help collect taxes in the provinces of Rome.

In New Testament times people bid for the job of tax collector and then exacted the tax plus a profit from the citizens.

Romans filled most of the offices, although some locals got the jobs.


Jews despised tax collectors because

Jews despised taxes.

Now you might be thinking, - I understand How they felt - I don’t like paying tax either.

The Jews hatred went far beyond any of our dislike of giving money to the government.

1. First, their dislike was theological in nature. The Jews had historically always opposed taxes, for they felt that God was the only true king, and only to Him could tribute be rightly paid.

2. Secondly, every time they paid taxes it reminded them that they were under foreign domination.

Remember that Mary and Joseph were required to go to the village of Bethlehem, even though she was nine months pregnant, because the whole world was being enrolled. The reason for this head count was, of course, taxation.

They hated to be reminded of their oppression. In fact to this day Jewish literature denies that Rome or any other country ever dominated them Jews.

3. But there was a third and even more important reason for their hatred of taxes.

In the province of Israel the Romans tended to enlist Jews do their dirty work for them.

Consequently, the ones gathering taxes were fellow countrymen.

Jews saw them as traitors, as being in bed with the enemy.

Thus, they were despised and hated beyond all description.

Such was the situation of LEVI.

In the New Testament tax collectors are grouped with





And of course GENTILES.

They were the scum of the earth.

Interestingly, Jesus himself even used the term Tax Collector as an insult.

Matthew 18:17

Jesus said that when a brother who has sinned refuses to listen to you, or refuses to listen to two or three witnesses, and even the church, then, Jesus said, Treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

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