“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’” Luke 5:27-32
Tax collectors were about a step above thieves. They were Israelites, but they cheated their people by lying and overcharging the taxes. The people knew they did this, but there was nothing they could do.
Tax collectors could not testify in court. Their witness was just not reliable. That was their reputation.
But reputations, past sins, standing in the community, history have never been Kingdom disqualifiers. Jesus looks past all of that.
The tax collector was sitting at his booth. Jesus said only two words, “Follow me.”
That was all it took. Levi wanted nothing more to do with his past. He wanted everything to do with Jesus. He got up and followed. There was no turning back.
That day Levi went from taking from the people to taking the Gospel to the people.
Just two little words… “Follow me.”
Did you hear Him?
He just said the same thing to us.