So That Jesus Would Be Known

The Point: Mark 2:13-17
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday February 2, 2020

In this second chapter Mark will allow us to see the pressure mounting against Jesus, the Scribes and Pharisees are increasingly at odds with Jesus – He, Jesus concentrates on their reaction to the things they’re seeing in His ministry – how do they, Scribes, Pharisees and religious leaders feel about what Jesus is doing.

Last Sunday, Pastor John Nicholas looked at Mark 2:1-12 where we see Jesus’ great healing of the man lowered in through a now destroyed house roof. I want you to think about that, this is probably Peter’s mother-in-law’s house… imagine breakfast in the morning. Everyone sits down over a bowl of cheerios, they look up at a gaping hole and maybe Peter says to his Mother-In-Law – wow, that got kind of out of control last night. What was the pace like? What was day-to-day like in Jesus’ gravity, we’ll see some of the fall out today.

So much buzz about Him, people flock to Him and the scribes and Pharisees are angry.

Who are the Pharisees, if you’re new to them:

Jesus said in Matthew 23:13 woe to you hypocrites, who tear people down, woe to you traveling across sea and land and make a convert 2 times as much a hypocrite, who to you blind fools? Blind, people who memorized the Pentateuch?

Matthew 23:13-17 (ESV)
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’
17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?

Pharisee comes from a Hebrew word meaning, separated. They allowed oral tradition in with traditional law, with 600 plus laws in Torah and rituals around ceremonial purification – everyone around them who didn’t do these things perfect – they knew that scripture was inspired by God but held their oral tradition to the same height, and I’m going to tell you what Christian, so do some of us.

We need to see the Pharisees difficulty with meshing in with Jesus because of the things they held precious over truth. Their tradition, their clean life, and ask – is there some Pharisee in us? Will we live so that we’ll be known as good or so that Jesus would be known?

Woe, to the Pharisee, a phrase of Judgement by Jesus to a people who perhaps block, thwart or make difficult access to God through their pretentious self developed goodness,

Romans 3:10–12 (ESV)
10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11  no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”

Today, if you’re someone who when the yearbook committee got together they voted you “most likely to go to hell” or if you’re the kind of person who comes in the room and the religious people kind of look away because your sin game is strong, don’t allow those things to push you further Jesus entire purpose was to seek and save lost people, even REALLY lost people so listen up!

We’re going to see a few things here

The religious really don’t like Jesus.
Jesus calls TO the outcast and sinning people. (v14)
Jesus is a known friend of outcasts and sinners. (v15)
Jesus answers a question: “why does Jesus hang with this crew”.

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

This is Jesus deal, teaching. Why, because scripture or the Bible is the authority for all of life, it’s how we know God it’s how God has determined to reveal truth and himself to us, and so this is why at Transcend Church, we put Scripture as the center of everything we do, the Word is front and center. Everything else is background, this isn’t a stage for performance, it’s a platform for the word and God’s Gospel – Scripture our grounding, our job 0, and measuring stick for truth.

Crowds were coming to Him to be taught. To gain insight into God and Jesus from the Scripture told them about God. Consider what the men Jesus was walking with said about his teaching in.

Luke 24:32 (ESV)
32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

14 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.

The Bible comes to us in two primary languages – Hebrew and Koine Greek (a common form of the language used in trade). Later, Helenaized Jews living in greek culture would translate the Old Testament into Greek for Greek speaking audiences, to understand. Collecting those together is known as the Septuagint, LXX the roman number 70. However there is a sneaky 3rd, Aramaic

John 5:2 (ESV)
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades.

Acts 21:40 (ESV)
40 And when he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying: hebrais dialektos…

Ezra 4:7 (ESV)
The Letter to King Artaxerxes
7 In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written in Aramaic and translated.

This 3rd language, Aramaic represents Levi’s name – which is known as Matthew, the gospel writer Mark and use (Luke 5:27( use Levi, Matthew uses the name Jesus gave him. Levi/Matthew was sitting at the tax office near the shore to collect taxes for those using the road between Heradian territories. The Romans built the territory and the highway and charged for its use. It’s like New Jersey – if you want to leave their grip (and you will if you go there) you have to pay them. I just paid a ransom of $18.00 last week to leave and go to NYC. This area where Jesus is centered is Capernaum one of a handful of areas with more than 15k people and so commerce and trade mean there is tax money in them there hills – and the government allowed people to buy and operate these tax jobs.

These tax collectors because of their job were pushed out of religious society – hated. They would identify with this hated role to make money, and maybe LOTS of money, their entire identify and everything was associated with being pushed out of society, being a liar and a cheat willing to collect and extort money from business people.

So there is Levi/Matthew – hated sitting among his money and his documents, perhaps thinking about how to stretch someone for more money – the word of Jesus in the region is spreading and now He approaches cold Levi/Matthew and says.. follow me. Maybe he heard Jesus’ teaching? Maybe he knew of the healing, maybe compassion from someone like Jesus where others ignored and pushed him away, but Jesus said “follow me” and would change Levi/Matthew.

It’s amazing not that Levi/Matthew responded. I mean, if we believe Jesus is the God man, of course he followed, if called…. What’s amazing is that Jesus called – hated, lying cheat, obsessed with pressing people for money –

Matthew on doing this act of following Jesus:

Matthew 16:25 (ESV)
25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

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.
16 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?”

These are people who literally thought being with, eating with, spending time with and around those who didn’t follow the law (remember the 600 oral tradition laws based on the OT) would leave them, defiled. So they see Jesus hanging out at a party with them and think he is a heathen. Do you know, as funny as that is, as odd as that is, it happens today just less obviously. Now you can be with people who aren’t church going if it’s an outreach event – but not socially while they’re doing their thing – only when you set up a bounce house and make hotdogs can you be clean with sinners. Balvenie with a non-Christian and you’re a Godless heathen.

Had they read:

Psalm 14:2–3 (ESV)
2  The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
3  They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.

Paul had when he said:

Romans 3:10–12 (ESV)
10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11  no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”

17 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.”

Jonathan Edwards said – and I love this: “I have had a vastly greater sense of my own wickedness and the badness of my heart than ever I had before my conversion.”

Jesus point here – he is of course with sinners, they’re the reason for His mission, the objects of His loving gospel – he didn’t camp off away from people, nor should we. We should celebrate what was done for us in the open, that’s what Levi/Matthew did – threw a party and invited all his friends, why – so that Jesus would be known.

the religious really don’t like Jesus

He eats with sinners, converts tax collected hated bottom feeders, he comes to them loves them and builds His church of them. That’s still going on today.

Jesus calls TO the outcast and sinner (v14)
Don’t miss this – Jesus didn’t come and hang out at the country club with the religious elite, he was down the in mix of peoples mess.

Jesus becomes a known friend of outcasts and sinners (v15)
This is how he is identified, friend of sinners. He’s not at the Pharisee’s house or the scribes house kicked back chillin, in fact they have to follow Him to sketchy places just to judge Him.

Jesus answers a question: “why does Jesus hang with this crew”
Why – because they need Him. Are they sick and need a Dr. no, they don’t have Novel Coronavirus virus and he’s passing out masks, rather – he’s among the people who are’t already impressed with their goodness and who’ve decided to follow themselves and call it Godly, rather He is finding those who don’t know God and making an introduction.

Those who follow him, will lose control of their lives, what they hold true maybe – but they’ll gain so much more again from Levi/Matthew himself:

Matthew 16:25 (ESV)
25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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