“As [Jesus] walked along [the shore of Lake Galilee],
he saw a tax collector, Levi son of Alphaeus, sitting in his office.
Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Levi got up and followed him” (Mark 2:14, GNB).
“Levi got up and followed Him” was the immediate response. Levi probably has heard one of Jesus’ preaching. Nevertheless, it was instant and risky decision. If the fishermen like Peter and John one day decided not to follow Jesus anymore, they can always return to their occupations – but not Levi. He can’t return to his previous job that easily. Stupid? Perhaps. But I bet Levi doesn’t regret his decision that day. I know it because “later on Jesus was having a meal in Levi’s house.” He throws a party with his fellow “tax collectors and other outcasts” (Mark 2:15). Jesus and His disciples (good guys) mixed with Levi and the outcasts (bad guys) under one roof. Partying, drinking and eating together.
That was why the Pharisees asked, “Why does [Jesus] eat with such people?” (Mark 2:16) They were playing religious game which prohibited ‘righteous’ people (like them of course) from dirtying their hands with known sinners. They are like this friend of mine who asked me why I go karaoke, watching movies, BBQ, play bowling and futsal, and hang out with drinkers and smokers outside church circles. “Jesus heard them and answered, ‘People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.” (Mark 2:17). Jesus is saying that He come for those who realize that they are sinners in need of a Savior, not to those who called themselves ‘righteous.’
Remember, Jesus calls us to be “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). Salt cannot accomplish its purpose while sitting in the salt shaker. We need to sprinkle ourselves among the unbelievers in the world in order to affect them. If we only have Christian friends, attend only Christian activities and going only to Christian places, we’re guilty of not being “the salt of the earth” in the world. We must communicate God’s love firsthand, as Jesus did to Levi, to those who need the Savior, Jesus Christ.
[Fyi: Levi, the tax collector is Matthew (another name), the apostles.
He is the one who wrote the Gospel of Matthew]
I wonder; what if he did not answered Jesus’ call that day? Hmmm…
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.