Mark 2:13-22 Matthews Conversion


In the mid-seventies a movie came out called “The Bad News Bears”

1. It was a story about a pathetic little league team

2. They were snot-nosed, foul-mouthed, unorganized, and untalented on the field


3. Most were not the kind of players that you would pick to be on your team { Losers

4. But they became champs



Jesus picked His team { Similar Group

1. If you were trying to generate some influence, create a following, and establish a new religion, then they were not the sort that you would pick either


2. Jesus did not choose as His disciples any with influence, power, or particularly high intelligence


3. They were not the who’s who of Israel - He picked a motley crew

4. Yet they became men that turned the world upside down


Tonight we want to consider the calling of Matthew





Mark 2:13-17

Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them.14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him.


15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi's house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"


17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."


A tax collecter -also called a publican - was a man who served Rome by  collecting taxes.

A) In those days a man could buy what they called a tax collecting franchise


B) A franchise required collecting a specified amount of taxes for Rome and anything collected beyond that figure was  kept as personal profit.

C) Now no one knew what the specified amout of taxes were except for the Roman officials & the tax collector himself

1) This enabled the tax collector to really jack up the taxes if he wanted to & keep a larger profit for himself  (Practice permitted by Roman officials)


D)For this reason the tax collectors were considered crooks & traitors by their own people & were hated

1) They were even more despised than Roman officials or soldiers.


The Call

A. What did Jesus really see?

                   1. Mark says that He saw a tax collector

                   2. Matthew says that He saw a man


B. Man sees a tax collector

1. We make so many judgments based upon outward appearance


2. We evaluate people by what they say, what they do, what they wear?


3. What goes through your mind when you see…

a. A homeless person?

b. A teen driving 90 in his lowered Honda?


c. A 16 year old girl holding a baby?

d. A guy in the checkout line with two 12-packs of Budweiser?

Jesus did not see a tax collector, He saw a man

A) He was a man created in the image of God


B)  A living soul with hurts, and problems, and sins, and fears-   A man that Jesus had come to die for


C) Levi  was probably used to people getting on him for what he was

1) When Jesus treated him as a man instead of as a tax collector, he took notice.



  1) Someone everyone treats badly because they are bad


E) Wonder what would happen if someone treated them like a normal person?




A) It says that Levi arose up & followed Him!


B) Luke 5:28 adds this remark – He left all arose and followed

1) Difference is significant  - He left all - then He rose up and followed Him !


C) I believe that order is significant & worth noting because we need to understand that there needs to be a leaving before there can be a rising.

1) Common principal in scripture

D) It is interesting to trace thru the scriptures - the things that people left as they rose up to follow Him


In Mark 1:18 Calling of Peter / Andrew / James & John

A) Immediately  They left their nets & followed Him


B) No longer going to fish for fish



A) Beggars coat w/ deep pockets holding his money - it was a symbol of who he was what his life was about


B) But when Jesus called he took off his coat & left it behind & rose up & went to Him/ 


C) Why did he do that ?- Not going to need it again


In fact Jesus talked Luke 9:62 about the man who puts his hand to the plow – looks back – not fit

"No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."



Now I have watched many people who have been limited in ministry - or held back & weighed down in their Christianity - no Joy

A) Because they were not willing to leave something behind


B) For some it was a secret sin - a “  little compromise “ Grey areas”   For others it was an attitude of bitterness & unforgiveness


C) Some a fear / others a lack of trust or some misconception they have about the Lord that is causing them to not truly rise up & follow




E) Can’t experience all that the Lord has for us until we are willing to do that


Heb.12  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,




A) A)Something that He has been asking you to leave behind - to lay aside & rise up to follow Him in a deeper way - more committed ?


B) So you can Rise up & go higher in the Lord - deeper in your walk


Jim Elliot  "He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."


C) The People who sore the highest in the kingdom presently & those who will be the greatest in the kingdom in eternity



Matthew throws a party v.15

A) He is excited about this new change in his life


B)Tax collectors had lots of money to throw parties

1) Of course, their only friends were other tax collectors and sinners


C) He wants to share this new life with others

1) The Zeal of a new Convert –


D) Want everyone to get saved – Great


Jesus was planted right in the middle

A) What a sight this must have been!


B)  The significance of sharing a meal in Jewish culture

1) To share the same loaf of bread with someone was to join yourself to them- it created a bond, a oneness


C) To be eating with them implied a level of friendship


The problem of becoming “Christianized

A) Over time our relationships with unbelievers become less and our relationships with believers become more


B) We get to the point where…

     1)  All our friends are Christians

     2)  All our social time is with Christians


    3) We get our haircut from a Christian

    4) Christian mechanic who works on our car


  C) We seize to be salt & light


I think some of us need to be guilty of eating with tax collectors and sinners

A) What about -  1 Cor. 15:33 “Bad company corrupts good morals”?


B) Some may think then that it is OK for them to continue to hang out with their beer drinking buddies

1) The question I would ask is- “Who is influencing who?”

C) What do you spend your time doing with these buddies?”


 Jesus was willing to associate with all

A) But He did not relate to everyone on the same level


B)  He saw people as either a believer or an unbeliever

1)  His interaction with believers- fellowship

2) His interaction with unbelievers- evangelism


C)  We need to see people as Jesus did

1) Your relationship to unbelievers is as an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20)



The Opposition V.16

A) Why was Jesus eating with Tax collectors and sinners.  – Glutton and a drunkard


B) Jesus responded

V.17 "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."


C) The scribes and Pharisees saw Levi and his friends as condemned sinners,

1) but Jesus saw them as spiritually sick “patients” who needed the help of a physician.


D) Reminds us of the fact that although Jesus hated Sin – came to die for sin

1) He loved the Sinner !!!


E) Think for a moment – Some one you Know – that guy is a Sinner –

1) A #1 HEATHEN – Picture in Dictionary


F) Know this: Jesus hates their sin – But He loves the Sinner –

1) Died for the Sinner – wants to save the sinner


Church is a Hospital – Healing for the Hurting


The Great Physician came to heal the sick

A) Those that are unrighteous

            Those that are bound up in their sin


B)  If you are not a sinner, then Jesus did not come for you


C) We are all sick in sin

1. The Scribes and Pharisees could not see or would not see their sin


D) People will not go to a doctor until they are sick

1) Until a person sees their sin and wants it removed, they will not come to Jesus

Levi’s new name

A) Levi meant “Joined”


B)  Named after a son of Jacob, the father of one of the tribes of Israel

1) -A name associating him with his heritage


2) -A name associated with the worship of God

      The Levites served in the temple


C) But for this Levi – he name spoke of someone who had joined himself w/ the Romans to exploit the people of God –


Now somewhere along the line – Levi came to be known as Matthew -

A) Matthew meant “Gift of God”


B) The Lord was giving him a new start

1) And This former outcast would become a gift of God to others


C)  He can take a life that is joined to all the wrong things and make it a gift of God

1. We don’t have a single word recorded that Matthew spoke -    But he knew how to write!


D) His gift to the Body of Christ is the gospel bearing his name

1)  Countless millions have been blessed by his gospel


Jesus extends His offer of fellowship

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me”  Rev. 3:20


He knocked on the door of Matthew’s heart with the words, “Follow Me”


 Maybe He is knocking on your heart tonight








Christian – Jesus lives in us – Great Physician to a needy World -