"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 9

Dirty, Rotten, Sinners

Read: Mark 2:13-17

Text: Mark 2:17 (KJV) When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Theme: Anybody can be saved, if they want to be saved.


ILLUS. The alcoholic who doesn't confess he's an alcoholic will rot in the gutter, and nobody can help him.

ILLUS. The gambler who doesn't confess he's a compulsive gambler will die penniless and destitute with nobody to care, because he would not be helped.

ILLUS. The sinner who thinks he is not a sinner, will die and go to hell with no possibility of parole, because he didn't see his need.

I. Matthew's Call (or, The Beauty of Salvation)

A. Salvation is beautiful because it can reach the most hated.

1. Whosoever will may come…

1 John 5:1 (KJV) Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Rev 22:17 (KJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Acts 10:43 (KJV) To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

2. However, there are some that we almost wish couldn't be! (We know we should never feel this way, but we sometimes do.)

ILLUS. Madelyn Murray O'Hare

ILLUS. Jonah felt this way! (READ Jonah 4:1-3)

3. Even the most hated can be saved.

4. We should pray for people, rather than hate them.

Mat 5:43-44 (KJV) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

B. Salvation is beautiful because it can totally change a life.

1. Matthew's heart was changed.

2. Nothing can change a life like a relationship with Jesus Christ.

C. Salvation is beautiful because it pays so well.

1. Some say Matthew gave up more than the other disciples.

2. However, Matthew gained much.

3. You just can't out-give God.

4. Nobody ever regrets having been saved!

II. Matthew's Party (or The Need for Salvation)

A. The need is large!

"… there were many…"

SONG - "Everyday they pass me by,

I can see it in their eyes,

Empty people filled with care,

Headed who knows where?"

1. The need of the world.

2. The need in our Jerusalem.

SONG - "My house is full,

But my field is empty.

Who will go and work for me today?

It seems my children all

Want to stay around my table,

But no wants to work in my field,

No one wants to work in my field."

Mat 9:37-38 (KJV) Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few, Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

John 4:35 (KJV) Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

B. The need was sufficient to motivate Jesus to come.

"… I came… to call… sinners to repentance."

1. "Preacher, I just don't see the need…" (But it was big enough to make Jesus leave heaven.)

2. "Preacher, you exaggerate the need…" (But it was big enough to prompt Jesus to become a man.)

3. "Preacher, the need just doesn't motivate me at all…" (But Jesus was motivated to come, live a life among us, and give His life for us!)

C. The need MUST be recognized or there can be no salvation.

"… I came not to call the righteous…"

1. The self-righteous will not be saved.

ILLUS. The Pharisees.

ILLUS. All those who say, "I'm just as good as the next guy."

James 2:14 (KJV) What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man SAY he hath faith, and have not works? Can (THAT) faith save him?

1. The self-righteous, like the Pharisees, commit the unpardonable sin.

Mark 3:28 (KJV) Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

Mark 3:29 (KJV) But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

I.e. - Not recognizing you are lost!

John 9:40-41 (KJV) And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

I.e. - Rejecting Christ because you don't think you need Him.

QUOTE "Man is lost, not just because he has sinned, but because he has refused God's remedy for sin."


I was once a dirty rotten sinner, just like Matthew. Thank God on May 3, 1970, I became a spotless, pure, believer in Jesus Christ. Thank God that the salvation offered by Jesus Christ was available to save me just like it was available to save Matthew.

I wonder, though, about you… Have you experienced the beauty of salvation?

And I wonder… Do we as believers see the need for salvation as we should?

ILLUS. A preacher once said to a group, "One day I came upon a drunken man asleep on the railway tracks and the express was due. What would you have done?" Each answered quickly, "I would have dragged him off the track in an hurry!" "Well," said the preacher, "that is the state of every unsaved person in the world - asleep on the tracks and God's Judgement Express almost due." Are you doing anything about your friends who are "asleep on the tracks?"

SONG "We are called to take His light,

To a world where wrong seems right,

What could be too great a cost for

Sharing life with one who's lost?"

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1997 William E. Johnson.