Luke 5:27-32 English Standard Version (ESV)
Jesus Calls Levi
27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.”28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Saturday is a time of preparing for Sunday. We perhaps lighten our mood a bit, even let ourselves hope a little. Yet, we continue our process of the last few days of examining all the patterns in our life we need to change. What does fasting really look like for us in this season of Lent? What are we leaving behind in preparation of Sunday?
Imagine the scene just in the first two verses above. It really is a startling scene. Here we have Jesus strolling down the street when he notices Levi, a tax collector, sitting in his office just collecting taxes, I suppose.
I’m startled by Jesus’s brevity, aren’t you?
There’s no preamble. There’s not even a, “Hi, how ya’ doin’?”
And leaving everything, he rose and followed him (verse 28).
I don’t know what I’m more startled by: Jesus perfunctory greeting or Levi’s apparently wordless, immediate and physical response. It could probably be argued that Levi had heard all about this Jesus, that the wheels had already been greased in his life to accept such a decisive and blunt invitation because he knew what Jesus was all about. Perhaps that is true. But if that’s true of Levi, it’s true of us as well, even more so.
We know all about Jesus. We’ve read our bibles, heard the sermons, had our quiet times. Even if you aren’t a follower of Jesus, unless you are reading this post as a member of some previously unknown, indigenous tribe somewhere that has never heard the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and you just happened to surf to this particular webpage, you’ve likely heard and know more about Jesus than Levi did.
Right now, there’s an area of your life (and mine) where Jesus is walking up to you and He’s looking you dead in the eye saying, “Follow me.” No preamble. No, “Hi, how ya’ doin'” Just…follow me.
Where is Jesus saying, “Follow me” in your life?
What do you need to leave behind?
Who are the people, and what parts of you, need to get invited to a great feast with Jesus after you’ve followed Him?