Mark 2:14, Who Followed Whom?

And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

//Levi, elsewhere called Matthew, held a contemptible office. He was a tax collector, sitting in the tax office. He was working for the Roman government, taking money from honest working men and giving it to the Empire. His own personal income came from whatever excess he decided to charge, and many in his profession grew rich because of their less than scrupulous ways.

That was how tax collectors were commonly perceived. They were the traitors, among the worst of sinners. Jesus happened upon this man in his hated profession and called him. “Follow me,” he invited. So where did they go?

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

To the house of Levi. To the house of sin. Levi didn’t follow Jesus; Jesus followed Levi home. And there, he invited many more tax collectors and sinners to follow him. There, he probably received more invitations to more traitors’ homes.

Jesus’s call to “follow him” isn’t into the beautiful homes of the beautiful people. It’s into the nest of the spiritually needy, those we may never think to call a friend … until we get to know them.

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