Leave it all? (Day thirteen Luke 5:27-28)

27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth. “Follow me,” he said to him. 28 And he got up and followed him, leaving everything behind. (Luke 5:27–28 NET)

The two words “follow me” are powerful in the context of passages like this.  To think of a man like Levi who had a good paying job, power, authority, and many other things our human nature desires leaving all of that behind to follow Christ is amazing.  It seems that in today’s culture finding even a few who are willing to leave everything behind for a few days or weeks to go on mission with Christ is seemingly impossible.  Many can’t even respond to the call to clean the church on a Saturday morning, or greet new comers at the door on Sunday much less really follow Christ in the sense that Levi did.  The text tells us that Levi left everything behind to follow Christ, and he knew virtually nothing of the man or the mission compared to the knowledge we have today in the context of Scripture and over 2,000 years of history.  Christ did not call everyone to full time vocational ministry then, and I don’t believe he does today either.  Not everyone will be called to leave their job, family, friends, and dreams to follow Christ although a faithful few do.  But all believers upon their calling into the faith have a responsibility to leave their old lives behind and to become faithful followers of Christ.  We must make it our goal in life to follow Christ and complete the mission we are given.  That mission will take time, effort, preparation, and require sacrifice on some level.  Our call to follow may not seem as religiously romantic as that of Levi’s, but it is not any less significant.  Will you answer the call to follow Christ, or simply submit another excuse to the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS?

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About Pastor Pete

Pete is the senior Pastor of Cowboy Fellowship in Pleasanton Texas. He is also the author of The Absolute Basics of Christianity, The Living Lamp, and a co-author of The Modern Day Disciple Bible Study series.
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4 Responses to Leave it all? (Day thirteen Luke 5:27-28)

  1. Karen Hart says:

    . “Our call to follow may not seem as religiously romantic as that of Levi’s, but it is not any less significant.” DOUBLE LIKE…………….

  2. Royce Hart says:

    I’m not sure what Levi knew about Jesus, but Jesus knew everything about Levi. Jesus asked because he knew Levi would follow. (I don’t remember anything about Jesus going to every tax collector’s booth and trying the same “cold-calling” technique.) And in order to walk out that commitment, Levi had to be ready to go.

    A few years ago, I was involved with a non-denominational church that spent evenings and weekends doing neighborhood outreach. My family and I spent many hours handing out tracts and inviting folks to service. On a few occasions our pastor would invite us to go street preaching… with megaphones, right in the middle of busy intersections. He called it declaring the Lord’s authority over the region, taking territory for Christ.

    I learned a few things from that experience. First, this was a miserable substitute for ministry… in my many months of outreach efforts, I don’t recall praying with a single person to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. (Don’t talk to me about “planting seeds” – by the time I left these people, they were ready to run me off. I helped that church alienate people from the Gospel. We blared the Good News through a loudspeaker or passed out tracts illustrating the horrors of hell to people who, justifiably, considered us nuts. Who knows how many we drove away?)

    I don’t doubt the sincerity of the pastor and congregation of the church I described. The pastor and his family worked tirelessly to reach lost souls for Jesus, and the congregation faithfully followed and served to help him fulfill that calling. I am certain that they were doing all that they knew to do. But I don’t think it’s fair to compare that with the calling of Levi.

    • Pastor Pete says:

      Royce what do you think the better approach might be. Obviously the approach Jesus took but exactly what might that look like in our modern world?

      • Royce Hart says:

        Pastor, I think the best course is what your church and others like it have embraced: Service. Meeting people in their need. Loving folks through difficulties, regardless of where they are spiritually, physically, socially, financially. Providing discipleship, correction and teaching to the Church, those who have submitted to the call of Christ, modeling it through authentic servant leadership.

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