Activity: Diagram the scene – who's present? Levi, Jesus, tax collectors, sinners, scribes (Pharisees), disciples.
What does the text mean?
1. How would you summarize the major ideas of Mark thus far?
2. Who is Levi? What was his other name? What similarities do you see between Levi’s call and the call of the other four disciples (1:16-20)?
3. Why was Levi a surprising choice for Jesus to call? What does the fact that Jesus called a tax collector as one of His disciples convey about Jesus’ ministry?
4. In the first part of v.15, to whom do the “he” and “his” refer?
5. The dinner guests are described as “tax collectors and sinners.” What does this say about how tax collectors were viewed? Who were the “sinners” Jesus was reclining with?
6. What appears to be Jesus’ view of the dinner guests as compared to the Pharisees’ view? According to v.16, why were the Pharisees so upset about the party?
7. Why do you think the scribes posed their question to the disciples instead of directly to Jesus?
8. In v.17, what does Jesus mean by the “righteous” and “those who are well” and “sinners” and “those who are sick”?
9. Is Jesus saying that there are indeed those who are righteous and not in need of having their sins forgiven? Explain.
10. How would you paraphrase the big idea of Mark 2:13-17?
How does the text apply?
1. Have you ever felt judged by “religious” people? Explain.
2. What does it mean that we are saved by God's grace and how does that apply when
we are relating to other people?
3. How do you balance relating to and loving sinners without validating or condoning
4. What does it mean to be a “friend of sinners”? In our culture, who are our “scribes”
and how do we recognize them? Who are the “tax collectors and sinners” that we despise
5. Who is a person in your life that comes to mind that might fit the category of “tax collectors and sinners” according to the definition of the text?
6. What can you do to get out of your comfort zone this week and meet this person where they are at?