Good morning to all, grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many today ask God our Father a question that many can't answer but he tells us in His word. The question is, "If God wants to save all people why doesn't he just save them all?"
Let us investigate his word again together. First we know he has compassion on all people, he wants to forgive all people, and show his mercy to all people. The way he does this for all people is to give them His Holy Son so we can be one with Him as His Son is. The only way to know his mercy, compassion and forgiveness is through His Son. A natural human man or woman can never know God's mercy, forgiveness or compassion without receiving his Son. He is a gift for us from God so we can receive our love and we can receive his love. This relationship between God, and humans was planned through his Son before the creation of the world. God made natural man with a sinful nature for the purpose only He can make right through His Son.
Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the ONE he loves.
When we read this we read God predestined, ( predestined -appoint before hand, ordain before hand, planed before hand) us to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ before the creation of the world, so why doesn't everyone believe and why doesn't everyone answer his call to be saved if God planned and ordained this union with mankind with his Son before the creation of the world?
God tells us this through His Spirit in Mark recalling Jesus and His word to all that followed him. God draws His children to ask questions, and he always will give his children answers in his word.
We go with Mark to the calling of Levi in Mark 2:13-18. First read the message then we will investigate it together.
As we investigate we see a large crowd again coming to Jesus. As he walked along, he saw Levi sitting at a tax collector's booth.
v14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me, Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
First let us look at the words that describe Jesus, "as he walked along he saw" and then he spoke. What did he see while he walked and why did he speak? Jesus was always looking at who needed him and his Father, and he always calls who needs him. We see Jesus seeing a sinner, because we know back then all the tax collectors were only working for their gain, and were not serving the people with the right motives and for the right reasons. Jesus saw his sinful nature and saw Levi's need for him to be saved, and Jesus said plainly without fear, full of authority and compassion, "follow me". Levi was drawn to him by His presence of authority without fear that was revealing His compassion, mercy and forgiveness through his two simple words, "follow me." Remember Jesus lived only to do His Father's will to give him glory, he was all about His Father's business in other people's lives. He was not their for his social pleasure, small talk, or sharing meaningless empty words.
We read Levi followed Jesus and asked Jesus to follow him to his house for dinner, but who else is there?
v15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.
We read here there were three different groups of people that were with Jesus. We see publicans, or tax collectors, sinners, his disciples and many kinds followed him. Let us investigate each one.
The Greek definition in the Bible for the word publican or tax collector is one employed by the Roman government at the time, they were harsh, greedy, had deception while they did their job of collecting farm tax for the Roman government. (sound familiar today?) These men showed no mercy, forgiveness or understanding, at this time they were out to gain only for themselves.
The next group is sinners, this group through the Greek definition in the Bible is someone that is not free from sin, that is devoted to sin, wicked and is still possessed by his sinful nature. They are the wicked in God's sight. This group would be anyone that did not receive Christ for who he is, the only Holy Son of God and would not know the Father sent him to save them. This would be all the human race before they receive Christ.
The next group is Jesus's disciples. This group through the Greek language is described as a pupil of Christ, one that wants to learn from him, and learn to know him as one wanting to be taught. This person would be one that Christ has taken a hold of by His presence. This is someone that is always learning. Paul describes a disciple of Christ in
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
The next groups that was not following him but continued to watch him, the scribes and thePharisees came to his disciples and asked "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
Let us take a look at these two groups and investigate who they are.The Greek definition for the scribes is, a group of teachers that taught the laws of Moses. They instructed the Jews what they were and all were to live by them.
The Pharisee is described through the Greek language was a group of of "religious" people that proclaimed their works were what God wanted to be praised. This group of "religious people" had a meaningless reliance that their outward appearance brought them right with God. They highly opposed Jesus and was highly offended by his presence and His inner law of the Spirit. In turn Jesus was highly offended by them and their pride in their outward law of appearance. This group also worked closely with the Roman government to gain praise, approval and to influence it as much as possible to gain power. This group truly did not help people in any way, they only suppressed them into feeling worse about themselves.
When the scribes and the Pharisee's ask the disciples of Jesus this question, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus heard them and what was his reply?
v17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but he sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
The KJV reads, 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.
This one statement from our Lord gives us many of our answers of who he is and why he came, and who will come and answer his call.
Let us investigate His reply and see our answers.
We read Jesus sees himself as a doctor. Why do we need a doctor? Because we are all sick naturally born with a sinful nature, and if he does not speak and show his presence to all natural human beings how will they know they are sick? What about those that are healthy or think they are whole and healthy without him?Jesus said he did not come for them, they do not need him. Who are the healthy or whole?
Jesus tells us the healthy in their own sight do not know they are sick, they are the righteous through their own sight, or some have too much self-pity and thy think they are too poor to be healed. Meaning they think they are right going their own way, they want to keep going the way they are going they do not need a doctor they are righteous through themselves, or too unhealthy that no doctor can save them, they are living the death they deserve, no one can save them. They are those that are blind and still live in darkness. We read he did not come for those, but if he did not come for the ones that think they are healthy and whole, and the ones that think are to unhealthy to heal, who did he come for?
"He came to call sinners to repentance" We have already said who the sinners are, but what does his presence reveal to a sinner that truly does see Him for who he is? His presence reveals to a sinner they need repentance. His presence and words reveals His mercy, forgiveness and grace that opens their mind to His truth in how truly sick they are, but not too sick His presence cannot heal! His presence and words reveals to them they have a need for a doctor, a surgeon, to remove their sinful nature and transplant His new and Holy nature! The only presence that can be transplanted to make a person whole and healthy is the Holy Spirit of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. He will always give you a need for Him by the gift of his presence walking by and saying, "Follow Me." Only a sinner will be moved to repentance, and only a sinner will answer his call to repent and be saved by the gift of His presence; The Holy Spirit, full of faith, love and grace. No self-pity or self-righteousness will get in the sinners way. He comes and makes a home in the repented sinner.
So who do you see yourself in through these groups? Are you a sinner and have you answered his call to repentance, followed Him to the cross, and has he changed you into his child, his saint, and become a member of his royal priest hood doing his will. Are you walking his walk, seeing what he sees, speaking his words to sinners to repent, because you were once a sinner in need of repentance. Are you now his child that repents daily, dies daily to do his will and not your own, and is being saved by His grace daily?
Are you His disciple that has given up all for Him? Are you a student of his wanting to learn all he has for you, living up to each day what you have attained by his teachings? Are you growing more into His image with the Father, being a member of his royal priest hood, and doing your Father's business by giving him all your rights to yourself? Have put Him above all things, above all people?
Or are you a member of the other groups that already is whole and healthy without Him or do you think you are too unhealthy for Him to save? Are you so righteous by your own works, you remain a Pharisee, or a scribe? Or are you so poor in self-pity you think He cannot heal you whole and make you healthy, so you remain a unhealthy sinner. Are you living a life of sin because you are receiving pleasure as a tax collector would by his own accomplishments, that only last a short time.
Receive His presence that leads you to repentance, and let Him give you the gift of Him the Holy Spirit of Christ. Go to the cross, give him all your good, give him all your bad, he will change you by His presence revealing to you, you need a doctor! You need a transplant! Ask him to reveal your need for Him by His presence, as your Savior, your doctor, that gives you the only true transplant of His Spirit that we all truly need to live now and forever in! He will answer! He is walking by now, what group will you be answering him in?
His love and peace always.