As a tax collector, Levi was considered a greedy traitor in the community. Because he was a social outcast, he would be the last person people would have expected Jesus to associate with. Jesus meets us where we are—and apart from Him, each of us is just as unclean as the people considered Levi to be. Levi was excited about what had happened to him, and so it was the most natural thing in the world to invite his friends from the wrong part of town to meet this same Jesus. As we follow Jesus, we too will begin to adopt His posture toward those who are far from God.
Read Mark 2:13-17:
- Why was Levi a surprising choice for Jesus to call? What does Jesus’ calling of Levi show us about His character and His mission?
- Who are some of the people that we might treat like tax collectors today?
- Why were the Pharisees so upset about the party?
- What are some modern-day situations like Levi’s party that might cause us to react like the Pharisees did in this passage?
- Do you have any relationships with people who are far from Jesus? If not, why?
Read Mark 2:18-28:
- How do these verses show us the difference between the way of religious rule-keeping and Jesus’ law of love?
- What are some subtle ways you might be basing your relationship with God on your good works?
Taking it home:
- Who is one person in your life in need of God’s mercy? How can you further your relationship with him or her this week?
- What are some practical ways we can work together to build relationships with the “sinners” in our lives that Jesus came to save?
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
Luke 19:1-10 • John 4:1-42 • Job 1:1-5 • Luke 15:1-16:9 • Zechariah 2:1-13 • 1 Corinthians 9:19-27.