Mark 2:13-17 – Jesus Calls Levi
I have to admit that it is still blowing me away that I never noticed this. I have no idea how many times I have read the gospels and if you count the sermons and discussions about them, one would have thought I would have picked up on such an important fact. Second time in two days …
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. (Mark 2:15)
He was in His house! He invited these cats into His house! I always thought of Him going into other peoples houses. I actually kind of thought of Him as sort of homeless. It might actually be Peter’s house, but He was at least at home in this place.
So who cares? Why is this a big deal? Maybe to some of you it is not. Many of you may go out, make friends with questionable characters and then bring them home with you? It is one thing to go hang out at the rescue mission, it is entirely different to bring those fellows back to your crib. (I don’t really talk like this, I am just trying to expand my vocabulary).
Of course, Jesus probably did not have much in the way of material possessions, to worry about (which is kind of a point in itself), and no wife or children to protect so this might have been no big deal to Him. We already know that He was not too worried about what people thought, so His reputation was not a concern. So maybe there is not much of a comparison between Jesus and me. After all I have a family, electronics, and standing in my church to be concerned with. (Sarcasm is a virtue … I keep telling myself that)
Seriously, when I think of the heart of Jesus, I think of someone that goes out brings people in just as they are. He does not go out, heal and restore them and then bring them in. At this point, Jesus has called 5 people, 3 fisherman and a tax collector. He took the fishermen from their boats and a tax collector from his toll booth, right where the were living. No probationary period, no qualification … He just took them in, wrapped His arms around them and loved them.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! (Matt 23:37)
I am not really talking about opening my house up to anyone that I might run across in my life. As a man with a family, I do have to be discerning when exposing my family to outside influences. I do however have to open my heart to those around me. Jesus did not pre-qualify people before building relationships and neither should I.
I hate that my mind is continually sizing up (judging) those around me. Some are too high and lofty and others are to low and disgusting for me. I am looking for the ones that are “just right”. Ones I can handle and are not going to drag me down.
Good News … Jesus set a table for me and anyone I want to bring. He has already sent the invitations. Until I overcome my own insecurities, I can just bring everyone to His house.