If you have been following along during this study of Lent as we prepare for Easter, I️ want to let you know that we will turn our attention to the book of Mark for the remainder of our study. And today as I️ read Mark 2, my attention is caught up by the call of Levi. Let’s check it out…
He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” Mark 2: 13-14
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FOLLOW CHRIST?
I️ am sitting here in my home, self-isolated but not-quarantined, and I️ don’t know about you…but I️ find this incredibly stunning. Look at the scene that is taking place. Jesus is out by the sea and he is preaching and the crowds are crowding in. People are starting to see the Miracle-Worker, Waymaker in action and they can’t get enough. The sick are being healed. But then we come across this somewhat casual circumstance. Jesus is walking and preaching and teaching and healing and then…pause.stop.
Levi is just sitting there. He is at work. He is a tax-collector. Yuck. He is detestable and hated, because y’all know, he was probably a cheater. But Jesus latched on eye-to-eye contact with him that day as he passed by and he said, “Follow me.”
That’s all it took.
Whoa! I’m blown away by the power of the call.
HOW DO WE RESPOND TO THE CALL
And then let’s keep reading because the tension is building and you would think that this tax-collector who enjoys ripping off people and makes a pretty good living doing so would simply ignore the call. I️ mean, after all, he is content. His life is good. Why would he need Jesus?
And he rose and followed him. Mark 2:14
And that’s that.
He got up.
Left the bench.
He rose and he followed Jesus. Giving up everything (his job, his security, his family, his friends, his identity, his EVERYTHING) and he followed. This is what it means in live-action to be a Christ-follower. It means we have a deliberate response to obedience.
Are you rising to follow Jesus today? What would that look like for you? Is there an intentional response on your behalf to tune in, listen, and respond to His call for your life?
The call is straight-forward and simple. All Jesus asks of us is to “Follow”. My prayer is for you to do so today. Regardless of where you live, who you are, what you do for a living…the call is open, “Will you follow me.”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, open up hearts today to hear your call saying, “Follow Me”. May we be willing to get up from what we are doing, our places of comfort and security, to do what you are asking from us. Help us be obedient followers of you. Amen.