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Amazing Grace

Series: The Gospel of Mark

Summary

May 12, 2024 

Passage: Mark 2:13-17 - He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” 

Main Idea: God’s grace is available to all who will humble themselves and follow Him. His grace is even available to you and me. 

I. Jesus offers His grace to all.

God’s grace is for the masses – but it must be accepted.

Mark 2:13 - He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them.

A. Already in His ministry, Jesus had attracted quite the crowd -and for good reason.
B. Instead of trying to shake the crowd, He spent time teaching them.
C. This is the Word of God teaching the Word of God – demonstrating His authority over the spiritual and the physical and still many in the crowd would reject Him. And He knew they would – yet He taught them, showed them kindness and even healed their sick. (Take it easy on yourself if you faithfully share the gospel and the message is ignored).
D. Nobody there could have an excuse to not believe – but the same is true for us today. Romans 1:18-20 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Sothey are without excuse.
E.  God’s grace reveals His truth to us. Grace doesn’t mean there is a lack of expectation for life change – grace gives the person an opportunity to change. 1 Corinthians 15:10 - But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

Main Idea: God’s grace is available to all who will humble themselves and follow Him. His grace is even available to you and me.

II. Jesus extends His grace to the individual and calls the unlikely.

Mark 2:14-15 - And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

A. Jesus leaves the crowd and invites an unlikely person to follow Him.
B. Levi, the son of Alphaeus is none other than Matthew the author of the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 9:9 - As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
C. A tax collector was a hated person – Matthew 5:46 - For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  
D. Matthew isn’t just a tax collector, he is a publican meaning that he had somewhat of a tax booth franchise and made his fortune by charging people more than their fair share of taxes and keeping the excess for himself.
E. You can imagine, he wouldn’t have been a very loved guy in his community…
F. Matthew rose and followed Jesus leaving behind his business because he was likely already convicted of his sin.
G. Jesus leveraged Levi’s position with his friends for mission… Mark 2:15 - And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
H. If not for the blood of Christ, we would all be imposters. Matthew knew that he was an imposter, while the Pharisees thought they were righteous…
I. Where do you fit in here? Have you forgotten the price that was paid for your forgiveness? Are you a convicted sinner reclining at the table with Jesus, knowing that if not for His grace you would be an imposter? Or a Pharisee looking in and casting judgment on the “sinners”? 

III. The self-righteous will miss out on His grace.

Mark 2:16-17 - And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

A. These words of Jesus should have stung the pharisees – but they likely truly believed that they were righteous because of their observance of the Law. But what does the Bible say about this? Romans 3:10-12 - “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” | Romans 3:21-26 - But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

B. Because of the pharisees wrong view of themselves, they missed what the tax collectors and sinners knew – that they were sinners in need of a Savior. Romans 5:6-11 - For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
C. James reminds us of the need of a humble spirit – James 4:6 - But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
D. Matthew 23 puts a great bow on this topic. Matthew 23:1-12 - Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Main Idea: God’s grace is available to all who will humble themselves and follow Him. His grace is even available to you and me.

Conclusion/Challenge

Follower of Jesus, instead of a challenge to wrap up today, I want to remind you that while you were an outcast, you are now a beloved child of God. You have a new standing before the King. Would you just listen to what the Scriptures say about you:

You have been set free – Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

You are no longer a slave to sin – Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

You are justified and redeemed – Romans 3:24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

You are a child of God – John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

You are a fellow heir with Christ – Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

You are accepted – Romans 15:7 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

You are forgiven – Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Speaker: Dan Krause

May 12, 2024

Mark 2:13-17

Dan Krause

Lead Pastor

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