Thursday, March 12, 2015

who do we hang with?

Mark 2

 Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him.

14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector's booth.

"Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him.

So Levi got up and followed him.

15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests,

     along with many tax collectors and other notorious sinners.

     (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.)

 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples,

       "Why does he eat with such scum?"

17 When Jesus heard this, he told them,

        "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do.

        I have come to call not those who think they are righteous,

           but those who know they are sinners."

For some reason, most of us, once we become Christ followers, insulate ourselves from "notorious sinners".

We fill our lives with fellow Christ followers, & end up seldom having friends who aren't Christ followers.

We don't hang with them, nor do we spend time connecting with them.

I wonder if we're just afraid of what other Christ followers might think of us if we hung out with other "notorious sinners".

But where would any of us be if the people who influenced us to follow Jesus had been afraid to hang out with us before we became Christ followers.

Mark also mentions that there were a lot of "notorious sinners" who followed Jesus around in those days.

It makes me wonder why they did that - what was it about Jesus that made these people want to be around him, even though they were probably treated badly by other followers of Jesus who weren't "notorious sinners".

The other thing that makes wonder is if I am a follower of Jesus, & supposedly allowing Him to morph me more into being like Him, then wouldn't it follow that I should becoming someone "notorious sinners" would want to hang out around?

And shouldn't I encourage them to do that?

There's a whole lot things in these few verses that challenge the way we live & interact with the people around us who as yet have not decided to follow Jesus.

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