October 20, 2021 – Mark 2: 13-17 – Sinners and Tax Collectors

Today we are reading from Mark 2: 13-17:

13 Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. 14 As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.15 And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

Today we see Jesus attend an interesting party.  He went to a party with sinners and tax collectors.  Now, first, let me say a word about what “sinners and tax collectors” mean.  

That was a classification.  We know what tax collectors were, these were Jews who worked for Rome collecting taxes and they were HATED. Everyone hated them. Religious folk, non-religious folk, everyone.  They were hated.  There were thieves and liars.  

Now, sinners, we hear that and we think of people that “sin.”  Liars, cheats, etc.  That is not what that term means in that day. “Sinners” were a type of people, had jobs that made them unclean, or had visible, classifiable sins. 

Everyone is a sinner. But not sees hatred. Everyone sees murder. “Sinners” in that culture were outcasts. Rejects. Folks who the proper folks wanted nothing to do with.  Now the proper folks also sinned.  It’s just a more acceptable, private sin. 

Good to know that none of this happens in our world, huh? 

Jesus goes to these undesirables and eats with them.  He loves them.  He cares for them. He came to save them.  He loved them. He loved them.  He loved them. 

He loves them.  He loves them.  He loves them. 

And so should we. Today, if you feel like an outcast, you have a Savior who loves you. Who died for you. Who wants to know you. And all of us, we should be doing all that we can to make sure that everyone knows that they are loved, by an awesome God. 

Whether their sin is visible or private. Jesus came to save them from it. For, in the end, we are all sinners (Romans 3: 23) who need Jesus.  You are loved today.  Never forget that. 

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