New Life … in an Instant
Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. – Luke 5:27-28 (NLT)
Most of us do our best to avoid hasty decisions. We recognize the importance of due diligence before making life-altering transitions. Thus, concerted research, ample preparation, and careful analysis before making a major move are all very important to us.
But there are exceptions to our insistences upon timely investigations. Sometimes life presents us with choices and challenges that require immediate commitment.
Leaving a village in ancient Judea, Jesus sees a tax collector named Levi (Matthew), sitting at his tax collector’s booth. Without any formal introduction or “Let me get to know you” conversation, Jesus invites Levi to become his disciple. Levi then gets up, leaves his entire profession behind, leaves his lifestyle behind, leaves his valuables behind, leaves his hard-earned position behind, leaves his lucrative tax-collecting license behind … all to follow Jesus.
Why would Levi make such a drastic decision so suddenly? Why would anyone risk so much of their lives in an instant?
It could be, that while Levi still had a lot to learn about Jesus, Levi was fully aware of himself.
As a tax collector, Levi knew how to make money, but perhaps he longed for an opportunity to make a difference. Levi had a certain authority granted by the Romans, but perhaps what he really wanted was that special anointing, granted only by God. Levi was probably quite sufficient materially, but perhaps he was aware of deep deficiencies in his spirit.
A sober recognition of who we are is precisely what makes the person God invites us to become, so compelling.
Lord, help me say yes to you … right now. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.