Going Deeper – 09.19.2021


09.19.2021 | WE ARE THE OUTSIDERS | Wk 2: “Welcome To The Party”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.


Breaking Ground

What’s the most fun celebration or party you’ve been to? Who invited you? What was it for?


The Dig

This week, we continue through the Gospel of Mark as part of our series We Are The Outsiders

Read Mark 2:13-14. Jesus approaches a tax-collector & calls him to become a disciple. There are three major oddities in this scene:

  1. Jesus, not the potential pupil, initiates the discipleship relationship. 
  2. Tax-collectors were despised as collaborators with Rome, extortionists, & religiously impure. 
  3. Jesus doesn’t ask Levi to change anything before inviting him into discipleship? 

What does this show us about Jesus & his ministry? 

Why do you think Levi responds by immediately leaving his post to follow Jesus? 

Next, read Mark 2:15-17. Jesus celebrates Levi’s call to discipleship with a meal (an intimate symbol of friendship & acceptance), which draws criticism from the Pharisees. 

What leads the Pharisees to object to Jesus’ behavior? 

Why do you think Jesus uses the metaphor of a doctor to describe himself & his work? What does this tell us about how Jesus understands brokenness & broken people?

Reflect on this scene through the lens of the bounded vs. centered set concept introduced by Pastor Scott a few weeks ago. In bounded sets, inclusion in a group is determined by clear, concrete, shared characteristics. In a centered sets, it’s determined by whether someone is moving towards or away from a shared center

How does this help us understand the different visions of God & religion depicted by the Pharisees & Jesus? 

How does Jesus’ centered set vision of discipleship create a more inclusive understanding of religion that can bring in & help broken people? 

How does this challenge you in this season? How could it change how you understand to & act towards the “tax-collector” in your life? 


Getting Out of the Hole

During this series, reflect on each week’s message:

  • Who is the “tax-collector” in your life? That is, the person whose behavior you find most distasteful or disturbing
  • How does Levi’s story challenge you to change your attitudes or actions towards this person? 
  • What would it mean for you to invite them into the party of the Kingdom? How could you tangibly do this?

Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through this week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!


Additional Resources*

Simply Jesus by NT Wright

Jesus & The Victory of God by NT Wright

The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning



Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, September 26th: Join us for week 3 of our new series where we are journeying through the Gospel of Mark!

* Please see mye3.org for details.