The Scandal of the Gospel.
Found Among Sinners
In Mark 2:13-17 we see the heart of Jesus on display. In this
encounter of calling a disciple we see Jesus’ love for all
kinds of sinners, even those society deems irredeemable.
We see his initiative in seeking them out with the gospel of
grace, we see him giving broken sinners full acceptance,
and we see his desire to fellowship with all kinds of sinners
who have been transformed by grace.
The Gospel of Mark has recorded for us five conflict stories
between Jesus and the religious leaders of his day (2:1-3:6).
These stories demonstrate Jesus’ approach to ministry and
love for people that often finds itself at odds with the
religious structures of his day. These stories illustrate for us
just how counter cultural the gospel of Jesus Christ really is.
While the religious elite refused fellowship to those they
deemed unworthy, Jesus shows that the gospel is open to all
kinds of people and he freely associates with them, even
calling them as his disciples to demonstrate how
revolutionary his gospel is.
Mark wants us to see in this text how being on mission with
Jesus can be scandalous because it almost always conflicts
with the modern conventions of the day. This is no less true
in our own time and culture where the gospel is viewed with
suspicion and disdain in many sectors. Jesus came to call
the sick and the lost (2:17) not self-righteous saints. We as
his ambassadors must be, like Jesus, willing to do whatever
is necessary to reach people with the gospel of grace.
If you are on the outside of the family of God right now,
please don’t allow the self-righteousness of a few stand in
the way of your saving relationship with Jesus. He came to
save you and to fellowship with you. Your worth is not in who
you are in the world but who you are in Jesus.