As Jesus gathered disciples, He befriended sinners in home settings.  Acknowledging the needs of those around us, we should open our homes and open our hearts to minister to those in close proximity to us.

Mark 2:13-17

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

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?” 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.”

Jesus’ Reach (Mark 2:13-14)

  • Jesus invited questionable people to follow Him who would intentionally upset the religious group dynamic.
  • Jesus calls us from a comfortable seat of sin to an unpredictable place at His side.
  • Christian discipleship is following Jesus on the move rather than merely adhering to a system of beliefs.

Levi’s Response (Mark 2:14-15)

  • The only way you will leave what you treasure is if you find something you treasure more.
  • When a sinner is changed by Jesus, he should want to gather other sinners in order for them to be changed by Jesus as well.
  • The disciples opened their homes and their hearts to minister to the sinners in proximity to them.

Pharisee’s Reaction (Mark 2:16-17)

  • By associating with sinners, Jesus tarnished His reputation but never compromised His character.
  • The religious leaders were eager to enter the house of preaching but not willing to sit at the table of relationship.
  • In their attempts to insulate themselves from blatant sinners, the religious crowd becomes a worse type of sinners.
  • If you distance yourself from sinners, you distance yourself from Jesus.
  • Jesus didn’t expect the sick to become well by themselves, but He also didn’t intend on them staying sick.

Who can you open up your home to this week for the purpose of ministry?

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.