Fulfillment (Mark 2:13–22)

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
It soon became evident that Jesus was deliberately associating Himself with the outcasts of Jewish society. He even called a tax collector to become one of His disciples! We do not know that Levi was a dishonest man, though most of the tax collectors were; but the fact that he worked for Herod Antipas and the Romans was enough to disgrace him among loyal Jews. However, when Jesus called him, Levi did not argue or delay. He got up and followed Jesus, even though he knew that Rome would never give him back his job. He burned his bridges, received a new name, and enthusiastically invited some of his “sinner” friends to meet the Lord Jesus. These were Jewish people like himself who did not follow the Law or appear to have much interest in things religious. It was exactly the kind of people Jesus wanted to reach.Of course, the critics had to be there; but our Lord used their questions to teach the guests about Himself and the spiritual work He came to do. He explained His mission by using three interesting comparisons.
I. The Physician (vv. 16–17).
13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. 14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
A. Jesus did not consider these people “rejects.”
Though they had been excommunicated by the religious leaders. Matthew’s friends were patients who needed a physician, and Jesus was that Physician. We have already seen that sin may be compared to sickness and forgiveness to having your health restored.
Now we see that our Saviour may be compared to a physician: He comes to us in our need; He makes a perfect diagnosis; He provides a final and complete cure; and He pays the bill! What a physician!
B. There are three kinds of “patients” whom Jesus cannot heal of their sin sickness.
Those who do not know about Him; (2) those who know about Him but refuse to trust Him; and (3) those who will not admit that they need Him.
The scribes and Pharisees were in that third category, as are all self-righteous sinners today. Unless we admit that we are sinners, deserving of God’s judgment, we cannot be saved. Jesus saves only sinners (Luke 19:10).
In Jesus’ day, as in the days of the prophets, there were those who claimed to bring spiritual healing to the people, but whose remedies were ineffective. Jeremiah rebuked the priests and false prophets of his day because they were worthless physicians who gave only a false hope to the nation. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace’; when there is no peace”. They applied their weak medicines to the surface symptoms and did not get down deep into the basic problem—the sinful heart. We must beware of such worthless physicians today.
II. The Bridegroom (vv. 18–20)
18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.
A. Jesus came to convert the sinners, not to compliment the self-righteous.
Now He told them that he had come to bring gladness, not sadness. Thanks to the legalism imposed by the scribes and Pharisees, the Jewish religion had become a burdensome thing. The poor people were weighed down by rules and regulations that were impossible to obey. “Life is not supposed to be a funeral!” Jesus told them. “God wants life to be a wedding feast! I am the Bridegroom and these people are My wedding guests. Are not wedding guests supposed to have a good time?”
The Jews knew that marriage was one of the pictures used in the Old Testament to help explain Israel’s relationship to the Lord. They had been “married to Jehovah” and they belonged only to Him (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 31:32). When the nation turned to foreign gods, as they often did, they committed “spiritual adultery.” They were unfaithful to their Husband, and they had to be disciplined. The major theme of Hosea is God’s love for His adulterous wife and His desire to restore the nation to His favor once again.
B. Salvation from sin involves much more than a person knowing about Christ, or even having “good feelings” toward Christ.
Two people are not married just because they know each other, or even because they have strong feelings about each other. In order to be married, they must commit themselves to each other and make this commitment known. In most societies, the man and woman publicly affirm this commitment when each says, “I do!”
Salvation comes when the sinner commits himself or herself to Jesus Christ and says, “I do!” Then the believer immediately enters into the joys of this spiritual marriage relationship: bearing His name; sharing His wealth and power; enjoying His love and protection; and one day living in His glorious home in heaven. When you are “married to Christ,” life becomes a wedding feast, in spite of trials and difficulties.
III. The garment and the wineskins (vv. 21–22).
21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”
A. Jesus came to introduce the new, not to patch up the old.
Jesus came to usher in the new, not to unite with the old. The Mosaic economy was decaying, getting old, and ready to vanish away. Jesus would establish a New Covenant in His blood. The Law would be written on human hearts, not on stones; and the indwelling Holy Spirit would enable God’s people to fulfill the righteousness of the Law.
By using this illustration, Jesus refuted once and for all the popular idea of a compromising “world religion.” Well-meaning but spiritually blind leaders have suggested that we take “the best” from each religion, blend it with what is “best” in the Christian faith, and thus manufacture a synthetic faith that would be acceptable to everybody. But the Christian faith is exclusive in character; it will not accept any other faith as its equal or its superior. “There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
B. Salvation is not a partial patching up of one’s life; it is a whole new robe of righteousness.
The Christian life is not a mixing of the old and the new; rather, it is a fulfillment of the old in the new. There are two ways to destroy a thing: you can smash it, or you can permit it to fulfill itself. An acorn, for example, can be smashed with a hammer, or it can be planted and allowed to grow into an oak. In both instances, the destruction of the acorn is accomplished; but in the second instance, the acorn is destroyed by being fulfilled.
Jesus fulfilled the prophecies, types, and demands of the Law of Moses. The Law was ended at Calvary when the perfect sacrifice was once offered for the sins of the world. When you trust Jesus Christ, you become part of a new creation, and there are always new experiences of grace and glory. How tragic when people hold on to dead religious tradition when they could lay hold of living spiritual truth. Why cherish the shadows when the reality has come? In Jesus Christ we have the fulfillment of all that God promised.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more