5 – The Healthy and the Sick

In this reading plan, I want you to meet and get to know the Lord Jesus. How do you get to know someone?

One way to get to know someone is to listen to what they say. Do they say good things or bad things? Do they tell the truth or tell lies?

We’re going to listen to some of Jesus’ words. Jesus was a wise teacher. He often taught people by telling stories. Jesus taught us about God, his kingdom, and how we can be a part of God’s kingdom.

As you read some of Jesus’ words, you may want to listen to more of his teaching. You can read more of the words of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Mark 2:13–17

Jesus asks Levi to be his disciple

13 Jesus went to the shore of Lake Galilee again. A large crowd came to him, and he taught them. 14 While Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Levi. Levi was the son of Alphaeus. His job was to take taxes from people. He was sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, ‘Come with me and be my disciple.’ Levi stood up and he went with Jesus.

2:14Levi took money on behalf of the Roman government. The Jews did not like men who did this job.

15 Then Jesus went to eat a meal at Levi's house. Many people followed Jesus and they ate there with him and with his disciples. Many of these were bad people and also men who took taxes. 16 Some teachers of God's Law who were Pharisees saw what was happening. They said to Jesus' disciples, ‘He is eating with bad people and men who take taxes. That is not right.’

2:16The Pharisees taught people the rules that God had given to Moses. They also taught many of their own ideas. They thought that it was wrong for Jesus to eat with those kinds of people. The Pharisees thought that they themselves were very good people. They thought that they obeyed all of God's rules.

17 Jesus heard what these people were saying. He said to them, ‘People who are well do not need a doctor. It is people who are ill that need a doctor. Some people think that they always obey God. I did not come to help people like that. Some people know that they have done wrong things. I am asking those people to come to me for help.’

Mark 2:13-17 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Did you Know?

  • Galilee was a part of Israel.
  • Large crowds followed Jesus to hear his words.
  • Jesus had twelve special friends called disciples.
  • Jewish people hated tax collectors because they worked for the Romans and many were not honest.
  • The Pharisees were a very religious group in Israel. Many of them hated Jesus.

The Meaning of the Story

Many different kinds of people came to meet Jesus. They heard that he invited everyone, good or bad, into God’s kingdom.

One day, Jesus invited Levi to become one of his followers. This made Levi very happy, and he had a party in his house for all his friends. Jesus came. The Pharisees were angry that Jesus made friends with people like Levi. They called people like Levi ‘sinners’, because they did not obey God’s commands.

Jesus explained that he was like a doctor. A doctor spends all his time with sick people because sick people need a doctor. Levi was spiritually sick. He knew he was a sinner and needed Jesus to forgive him. The Pharisees thought they were spiritually healthy and did not need Jesus. They were proud and looked down on people like Levi. They needed Jesus to change them as much as the tax collectors.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus was a king. Jesus was a prophet. Jesus was a saviour. And Jesus was a doctor. A doctor’s work is to make sick people well. We can be sick physically, and we can be sick spiritually. People become spiritually sick when they sin. This is the worst sickness, because it breaks our relationship with God.

Jesus came to make us well by forgiving our sins.

Thinking about the Story

  1. Who needs a doctor?
  2. How do you know if someone is spiritually sick?
  3. Why did Levi have a party?
  4. Why did Jesus go to the party?
  5. Do you think the Jewish leaders were healthy or sick?