I’ve just published the sixth part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 2:13-17, when Jesus calls the tax collector Levi.
For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!
See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos.
You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.
Key points from Mark 2:13-17
One important thing for understanding this passage is to realise how people saw Tax Collectors. You might find it helpful to look up a page with some background info about tax collectors.
There were three points I made in the video for you to think about:
- Jesus called Levi – a tax collector – who would have been despised by the Jewish authorities at that time. Can you think of anyone today who might be despised in a similar way? What does that teach us about who God calls and values?
- The Teachers of the Law questioned why Jesus ate with “tax collectors and sinners”. What do you think that says about how they saw themselves? Do you think they didn’t see themselves as sinners? Were they right to see themselves this way?
- Jesus said he didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners. Think about our relationship to God. What does that mean about how we should relate to God? How can we come with honesty and integrity to God?
Looking for more?
You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 2:1-12.