Summary: A message examining the day Jesus called Levi to follow Him.
WHEN JESUS CALLS YOUR NAME
In life there are certain "monumental" days that we will always remember. Such as: The day you graduated high school, the day you started college, the day that you got married, and the day your children were born. All of these are special days
But for those who have been born again, you remember a day when your life was changed eternally! You did not achieve sinless perfection, but a change takes place when a lost soul meets a loving Savoir! As the old Hymn says "What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart!"
Some of you have not experienced this change that I speak of. You are lost in your sins and you are headed for Hell. This is a devastating fact, but it is true nonetheless. If that describes you, I have good news... this could be the day that everything changes for you. This could be a day that you will never forget. This could be the day that your life is changed eternally. This could be the day that Jesus calls your name.
- I want to look to our selected text and preach on the subject "When Jesus Calls Your Name"
This passage describes the call of Levi. Jesus chose him to be one of His 12 Disciples. This was a great honor, there were many who followed Jesus, but only 12 were chosen to be Disciples. Levi (better known as Matthew) was a publican. Publicans were tax collectors for the Roman Government. Publicans were among the most hated people in those days. Many of them were corrupt and considered to be extortionists. If Rome levied a 5% tax, the publicans would charge 10% to 15% or sometimes more, and they would keep the difference for themselves.
We are not told, nor is it implied that Matthew was a dishonest tax collector. He may have been completely honest in his business dealings. Whether he was a stereotypical publican or not, Matthew was still a sinner in need of a Saviour. He did not know it, but this would be the day his life would change forever! On that day Jesus passed by and He called him to follow Him. This simple invitation changed Levi's life forever!
That is how salvation works. Matthew didn't wake up and say, I am going to follow Christ today. He didn't go looking for Jesus, Jesus sought him out. Jesus called his name and invited him to follow Him. Matthew gladly accepted that offer. He forsook all, and followed Jesus!
That is very similar to my own personal salvation experience. I did not wake up and say "I think I will give my life to Jesus today". In fact, that day started out like any other day. But when I least expected it, Jesus passed my way. He called my name and invited me to trust in Him. He offered me salvation and eternal life. And I surrendered to Him and my life has never been the same!
If you come to faith in Christ, it will happen in similar fashion. The Savoir will call your name and offer you the greatest gift you will ever receive. If you accept that gift of salvation... Jesus will change your life eternally. If you could talk to Levi today, he would tell you that from the moment he met the Master, his life was never the same.
- I want us to examine what happened the day Levi met Jesus. As we look at the events of that day, we will see what happens "When Jesus Calls Your Name"
Those who have been born again will testify that the day Jesus saved their soul was a day like no other. It is a day and an experience that you will never forget. Notice:
I. THERE IS AN INVITATION TO FOLLOW JESUS
v27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me."
Being a publican, receiving a kind word from people was probably a rare occasion. Levi wasn't expecting the long awaited Messiah to call his name, and he certainly wasn't expecting the invitation that he was about to receive.
A. WHERE JESUS WILL FIND YOU
Where will Jesus find you and offer you salvation? The bible proves over and over again that Jesus will come to you where you are. Jesus found Matthew at his tax booth. (v27) Perhaps he was there counting his money and reconciling the daily receipts.
It seems that Levi was dedicated to his job. He was faithful to the task that had been assigned to him. He was just an ordinary working man. In much the same way as Andrew, Peter, James and John were just common fishermen. Jesus did not seek out the scribes and theologians of the day. He didn't seek out the religious elite. He chose ordinary men who were faithful to the tasks that had been assigned them. He has continued to do so throughout church history!