Advent 2012 – Follow (by David Brown)

imagesLuke 5:27-29:  “…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.

Following Jesus requires decisive, concrete action.

Levi, also known as Matthew, does four things.

He got up from his comfortable chair at the tax booth.
He left everything (money, documents, lunch)
He followed Jesus (doesn’t say where)
He had a party to introduce his friends to Jesus.

Many scholars think that the disciples Jesus called are people he had known as he lived his first 30 years in and around the province north of Jerusalem called Galilee.  Most likely they were more than casual acquaintances.  They may have been people with whom Jesus spent time in the coffee shop, talking about life, family, faith.  No doubt they knew something of Jesus’ life and thoughts and ambitions.  If they hadn’t seen his recent miracles, they surely had heard about them.  They had a relationship with Jesus and when he called they were ready.  They were prepared.  Maybe that is why he called these particular people.  Out of all the people around, these were the ones Jesus knew would respond.  These were the ones Jesus knew would act.

So when he showed up and said “let’s go”, they were more than ready.

Ready to leave the comfort of their homes.
Ready to leave the security of their possessions.
Ready to leave what they knew so well to go on an adventure.

And Levi, in great style, kicks it all off with a party, showing us perhaps that there is one thing more important than comfort and possessions and what we know…and that one thing is not a burden but a joy.

Most of you reading this are “church people”.
But I would ask you:  are you a Jesus follower first?  Or, has the comfort of your pew, the security of your building, and the rituals that you know so well become the chains that keep you from getting up and getting going on an amazing adventure of joy with Jesus?

If you are not a “church person” I would encourage you to truly explore the kind of life Jesus offers to those who would take risks and leave their “world” behind and join him on an exciting  journey of Life!

I want to encourage you today to hear the words of Jesus…”Let’s go!” and act upon them.

Almighty God, give us grace to hear the call of Jesus and the courage to get up and follow.  Amen.

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