In Bangalore we found some people who brought many friends to meet Jesus! We have often found people coming to a casual social event can be quite open!
Let’s read this story and think about Jesus’ strategy for reaching the lost:
Mark 2:13-17 niv
13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 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.
15 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. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Phariseessaw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
What are one or two things that stand out to you in this story?
- Is there anyone that you identify with in the story?
- What practical insights does this story give us into reaching people far from God today?
- What does this story tell us about where we should focus our prayers and attention in making disciples?
People live in networks of relationships. To reach those networks we must go to their turf instead of trying to bring them to our turf.
- Some of the people who appear farthest from God are the ones most open to the Gospel. And some of the most religious people are the most closed to God’s message of radical grace!
- Reaching those in need of Jesus requires taking time with them.
- God isn’t calling us to reach religious people. He is calling us to be like Jesus and reach sinners!
Just as with the Mark 1 story, it is important that you notice that the issue of turf is important.
There are three types of turf: our turf (our church buildings and programs), neutral turf (public places), and their turf (people’s homes and social groups). Jesus found Levi on neutral turf (a public setting) and then met his friends on Levi’s turf (his own home). In the same way, Peter went to Cornelius’ turf—his city and home.
Can you think of someone that you are discipling now? What turf are you doing this on? How might you move this to turf that has more potential to reach other.
Prayer walking is one way that we start to move onto others turf in an important way. What are some other ways that we can take Christ to neutral and nonbelievers turf?