“27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. 28 “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.”
Follow me. Jesus just walked up to the most reviled, detested, dishonest, crooked, cheatingest person in the area, at his place of business, and said follow me. As bad as the IRS is today, they were nothing like the Roman tax collectors of Christ’s day. Nope. Tax collection back then was a bid out and the tax collector lived off the spread between what was bid and what they collected. There really weren’t any tax laws, the tax collector determined what was to be collected and told you what was to be paid. He was then backed up by the Roman army. Don’t like what the tax is? Tough, I’ll take it anyway.
So, who does Christ go after? The worst. The tax collector. You and me. Sinners of the worst kind. Notice that Levi didn’t hesitate? Christ had that way with folks who heard him, who would listen to him. Powerful.
Now what would draw Levi to Christ like that? Why would he walk away from a powerful business of enrichment to entertain Christ with all the other tax collectors? Even Levi knew he was missing something in life and Christ was the answer.Maybe it stuck, maybe the siren song of the world was to much. I don’t think all the tax collectors at the feast repented. Kinda like the world today.
v31 “Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Whether it be Levi, or Zacchaeous, or Matthew, or you our me, Christ tells us to follow Him, to repent, to be healed. Maybe you don’t think you need it, maybe you still have your merit badge for perfection. Good luck with that, but you should know it didn’t work to well for the Pharisees.
I know I lost my merit badge for perfection a long time ago, so I’ll follow His command to follow Him.
In His Name,