Friendship Evangelism

Mark 2:15-17 tells about a dinner party at Levi’s house. What makes this so interesting is the people who were there.

As soon as Jesus called Levi (Matthew) to “follow [him]”, Levi quits his job as a tax collector and follows Jesus. I have often marveled at his quick and sacrificial obedience to leave his job and follow Jesus.

The second thing he did was equally as noteworthy. He held a banquet for Jesus. Jesus’s disciples were invited, but so were “many” tax collectors and sinners. Levi’s first action after accepting the call to follow was to introduce his friend group to Jesus.

The religious leaders who were watching from a distance were offended. They didn’t understand why Jesus would defile himself by hanging with Levi’s friends. These friends were sinful.

Jesus heard their words of disgust and knew their hearts. He told them healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. He was saying, good people don’t need repentance, and saved people don’t need evangelism. Those who are far from God need Jesus. If they won’t come to Him, then He’ll go to them.

It was friendship evangelism at its best. How’s our evangelism to our friends? Let’s commit to work on that today.

Work hard and smile often today.