Sunday, August 4, 2013

Would you Follow?

Read Luke 5:27-32
Tax collectors were the most despised group in Jewish society, at about the same social level as prostitutes. “Tax collectors and sinners” is a phrase we see pop up many times in the gospels. The tax collectors were Jews that had sold out to the Roman Government, in a big way. Each tax collector was required to extract a certain tax quota from the people. Anything they could extort beyond that went into their own pockets. They were extortionists who collected money for the oppressive Roman overlords, and skimmed off the top for themselves. They were thieving traitors.

Levi was sitting at his tax booth, when Jesus came past and said, “Follow me”. And Levi got up, left everything and followed him. This was a huge sacrifice: clearly a bigger sacrifice than that made by the fishermen who left their nets. The fisherman could return to their nets later, should they change their minds. Once a tax collector gave up his lucrative post, he couldn’t just go and get it back. It was a government position, and men were lining up for the job. Levi made a truly life-changing decision when he left it all to follow Jesus.

Would I be willing to leave everything, if that’s how I was called to follow Jesus? What about you? If Jesus was calling you to leave everything, and go to Asia, or Africa, or Central Australia, would you leave everything and follow him? Exactly how we are called appears to be different for different people, but if you were sure of the call, would you follow?

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