Summary: There are 4 instances in the book of Mark where Jesus uses the phrase, “Follow Me.” Jesus will never call us to do something He hasn’t already done. We must Follow Him in faithful obedience.
Last week we started a new journey into the book of Mark. I shared with you that there are 4 instances in the book of Mark where Jesus uses the phrase, “Follow Me.” Last week we took a look at catching Jesus’ dream. Yet, not just a dream, but a reality. It was “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” We examined our responsibility in presenting the Gospel message to a world that is lost and so in need of Good News. Also, that we need to make sure of the way we are presenting it. Are we forcing it down peoples throats or are we showing them an example by the way we live our lives?
Today we are going to take the next step down the path as we follow after Jesus. Today’s passage comes from the second chapter of Mark starting at the 13th verse. Let’s see what it says.
Mk 2:13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd
came to him, and he began to teach them.
Mk 2:14 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.
Here we find Jesus, walking beside the lake.
But this time, instead of coming across some fishermen, Jesus encounters a tax collector. Levi (AKA Matthew).
à What’s so special about this? Well let’s take a look at who Levi is. He is a tax collector. What does that mean?
He is employed by the Roman Government
He is hated by the Jews for being a traitor
He’s a cheat
Considered dirt by most people
Yet, now Jesus comes into the picture. He approaches this man who is hated by most people, and doesn’t treat him the way he is used to being treated.
He approaches Levi openly
He comes with a positive, friendly attitude
He invites Levi to follow Him
And just like Andrew, Peter, James & John:
Levi leaves his table to follow the Lord. This could be a very risky decision for Levi, because the position of tax collector was sought after by greedy people looking to get rich fast.
He risked this get rich quick job.
We don’t know where they went immediately… but the passage goes onto say:
Mk 2:15 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.
Here we have some dinner party happening. Levi has invited his closest associates:
other tax collectors
Great crowd of friends he hangs out with. Yet it seems that he wants his associates & friends to meet this guy who treated him differently than any other person has ever treated him. He wants to share the kindness and the compassion of his newly found friend and teacher, Jesus. As I said last week,
there is something special about Jesus.
That is why Levi wants his friends to meet the man:
Who didn’t curse at him
Didn’t threaten him
Didn’t avoid him
But treated him as a person
A tiger met a lion as they drank beside the pool
Tell me said the tiger, why you’re always roaring like a fool
It’s not so foolish said the lion with a twinkle in his eyes
They call me King of Beasts, it pays to advertise.