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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Mike Novotny » Mike Novotny - You're Not Perfect, and That's Okay

Mike Novotny - You're Not Perfect, and That's Okay

Mike Novotny - You're Not Perfect, and That's Okay
TOPICS: Hope From Israel

Are you a sinner? Me too. Do you have any friends? Me too, I think. But if you're a sinner and you have friends, do you know who calls Himself your friend? Jesus. I'm standing here in the town of Capernaum where Jesus lived during His three year ministry. I'm standing in the ancient synagogue and right through that window behind me, are the old black stoned homes that date back to the days of Jesus. And it was in these homes that a man lived that you might've heard of. His name was Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector right here in Capernaum. Until one day, Jesus came to town and something incredible happened. Matthew, a notorious sinner in this place, a sell-out to the Roman government, became the friend of the Son of God. Listen how Mark chapter 2 tells it.

"Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: 'Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?' On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.'"

Jesus said the whole reason He came was to be the friends of people like that. Matthew, prostitutes, rejects, black sheep of the family. He didn't come into the world to call perfect, righteous, just fine people, but those who were so broken that they knew they had no hope of Heaven without Him. And as I look around at these ancient ruins, I wonder where Matthew lived. I wonder where his tax collector friends gathered with Jesus for that meal? I wonder how the rumors spread from house to house and they heard about a Rabbi who would teach with authority, who came from God. Who was willing, not just to be with them, but to call them His friend. And it makes me so grateful for the Gospel.

Now, in my life, I've done some stuff I really regret. And even after almost 40 years of following Jesus, I still do. I know that I'm not righteous on my own. And maybe you feel the same way. But if so, remember the lesson of Capernaum. Here's the place where Jesus proved that sin doesn't get in the way of His friendship. He overcomes it with His love. He calls people by name, who deserve it the least and he says, "Follow Me". And you can too. So if you're a sinner, don't panic. We believe in a Jesus who is the friend of people just like that. And that's the gorgeous message of the Gospel that we learned right here in Capernaum.
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