The Friend of Sinners – Deric Bartlett

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Sermon Notes

This week, Pastor Deric continues the series “The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World” with a message titled ‘The Friend of Sinners’ based on Mark 2:1-17.
Jesus targets sinners (v. 1-2)
Jesus forgives sinners (v. 3-12)
Jesus calls sinners (v. 13-14)
Jesus befriends sinners (v. 15-16)
Jesus heals sinners (v. 17)

If someone came up to you and said “Hey, do that thing you do!”, what thing would pop into your head first?

1.Using your imagination, picture the scene of four friends letting the paralyzed man down through the roof [Mark 2:3-5]. What did Jesus commend that others in the crowd may have condemned [cf. Genesis 32:24-32; Luke 18:1-8; and Acts 14:21-22]?

2.Why do you think Jesus first forgave the paralyzed man’s sins instead of healing him [Mark 2:5]? What was the greater need – physical or spiritual healing [cf. Psalm 51:1-4; Luke 7:40-50; and John 5:9-15]?

3.Were the scribes in Mark 2:7 correct that only God can forgive sins? What does this indicate about who our sins directly offend? What identity claim was Jesus making in this text [cf. Psalm 32:5; Psalm 103:8-14; and John 10:22-33]?

4.How would you answer Jesus’ question, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? Why? Consider also John 2:11; John 11:4; and John 20:30-31 in your answer.

5.Why do you think Jesus included Levi, a tax collector, among His 12 disciples [Mark 2:14]? How do you imagine the other disciples felt when Levi was introduced to them and they had to dine in his home with others of his profession [cf. Matthew 11:19; Matthew 21:31-32; and John 4:31-38]?

6.Jesus clearly portrayed and conveyed His earthly mission in Mark 2:15-17. What was His mission, and how does it impact our ministry priorities [cf. Luke 15:3-7; Luke 19:10; and 1 Timothy 1:15]?

7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

“Jesus was a friend of sinners not because He winked at sin, ignored sin, or enjoyed light-hearted revelry with those engaged in immorality. Jesus was a friend of sinners in that He came to save sinners and was very pleased to welcome sinners who were open to the gospel, sorry for their sins, and on their way to putting their faith in Him.” (Kevin DeYoung)