Jesus Only Saves Sinners! Mark 2:13-17

Text: “…They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Mark 2:17.

 Good morning, redeemed sinner!  Every true and genuine Christian has a shared experience absolutely necessary to ever being graciously saved by the Lord Jesus Christ – we must ALL first confess that we have been, are, and shall always be Hell-deserving SINNERS.  Fact!


“…For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (the absolute righteous Holiness of Christ Himself!).”  (Romans 3:22-23)


Our selected passage for Marching In Mark’s Gospel today, centres primarily on what we might refer to as ‘the calling to discipleship of the tax-collector, Levi’.  (V.14)


Tradition has it that Levi’s name was changed later, probably by the Lord Jesus Himself, to Matthew, the writer of Matthews Gospel.  However, one thing we know for absolute certain is that, the one necessary prior requirement for Levi’s calling, was the fact that he was a sinner, called to full repentance from his sin; repentance that was immediately followed by a ministry of discipleship in the close fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Genuine repentance is a two-way process: in Christian repentance, we turn a full 180% away from following hard after selfish-sin; to a full committed following of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holiness.  The old life ends, the new life in Christ commences, and never ends.


“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed (or are continually passing) away; behold (look, and fully understand), all things are become (or are continually becoming) new.  And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)


Levi, the one-time vile and despised Tax-Collector, was called to follow Christ; given a new name; filled with God the Spirit; and immediately started to serve his Master and Lord in the ‘ministry of reconciliation’ – reconciling sinful men and women to a thrice Holy Lord God, though man’s one Mediator, Jesus Christ.


Preaching/teaching the Gospel of Christ and Him Crucified for sinners is the ONLY ‘ministry of reconciliation’ – an Eternal reconciliation between sinful mankind and a Holy Lord God, through the Atonement Sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Praise His Holy Name!


“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For He (God the Father) hath made Him (God the Son) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we (sinners) might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)


J.C. Ryle Comments:

 “The person who is called Levi, at the beginning of this passage, is the same person who is called Matthew in the first of the four Gospels. Let us not forget this. It is no less than an apostle and an evangelist, whose early history is now before our eyes.


We learn from these verses, the power of Christ to call men out from the world, and make them His disciples. We read that he said to Levi, when “sitting at the receipt of custom, Follow me.” And at once “he arose and followed him.” From a publican he became an apostle, and a writer of the first book in that New Tes­tament, which is now known all over the world.


“This is a truth of deep importance. Without a divine call no one can be saved. We are all so sunk in sin, and so wedded to the world, that we should never turn to God and seek salvation, unless He first called us by His grace. God must speak to our hearts by His Spirit, be­fore we shall ever speak to Him. Those who are sons of God, says the 17th Article, are “called according to God’s purpose by His Spirit working in due season.” Now how blessed is the thought that this calling of sinners is committed to so gracious a Saviour as Christ!


“When the Lord Jesus calls a sinner to be His servant, He acts as a Sovereign; but He acts with infinite mercy. He often chooses those who seem most unlikely to do His will, and furthest off from His kingdom. He draws them to Himself with almighty power, breaks the chains of old habits and customs, and makes them new creatures. As the loadstone attracts the iron, and the Southwind softens the frozen ground, so does Christ’s calling draw sinners out from the world, and melt the hardest heart. “The voice of the Lord is mighty in operation.” Blessed are they, who, when they hear it, harden not their hearts!


“We ought never to despair entirely of anyone’s salva­tion, when we read this passage of Scripture. He who called Levi, still lives and still works. The age of miracles is not yet past.” (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)


“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (homosexual), nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)


By this verse from Paul’s writing to the Corinthian church, we see that, like the reviled Tax-collector, Levi, you and I were also reviled sinners, living far from our Holy Lord God.  However, the grace of God in Christ called us out of our darkness and sin, and gloriously redeemed us by Christ’s precious and sinless Blood.  Thank God He saves sinners like we!

Thought: The only way to become Holy saints, is by admitting that we are vile sinners.

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