From the Word Among Us:
Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. (Luke 5:27)
Earlier in this chapter, we watched Jesus call his first disciples—James and John and Simon Peter. These were to be the men with whom Jesus would spend the next three years. They were to become his closest friends. Along with another nine, they would make up the twelve apostles, the foundation stones of his new Church.
Okay, now let’s get back to today’s story. Levi is just minding his own business at his tax collecting post when Jesus shows up and says, “Follow me” (Luke 5:27). That’s a bold conversation starter! But Levi follows it with an equally bold move: he gets up and leaves everything to follow.
There’s something intriguing about how Jesus called Levi. Walking into the tax man’s world, he didn’t demand, Repent! Although he would have been justified in doing so, he invited him instead: Follow me. Jesus wasn’t so much fishing for a convert as he was looking for a companion. He invited Levi into what would become a tight-knit friendship with him. And Levi was so moved that not only did he accept the invitation, he threw a party to celebrate his decision and chose Jesus as the guest of honor.
As you seek to honor the Lord in a special way this Lent—kind of like the way Levi honored him through a banquet—remember that Jesus first sought after you and honored you! He has intentionally and graciously invaded your world to beckon you to come and follow him. That’s a sign of favor worth rejoicing over!
What’s more, Jesus still seeks you and honors you every day, calling you into an ever-deepening friendship. He is always responding to your prayers and sending messages of love your way. He doesn’t chalk you up as another convert, he celebrates your companionship. He actually enjoys your company! Maybe you can think of the extra time and energy you put into following him this Lent as your own way of throwing him a banquet and featuring him as your guest of honor. He is delighted to accept the offer and to call you his friend!
“Lord Jesus, thank you for showering me with your favor! I will follow you wherever you go.”
Isaiah 58:9-14; Psalm 86:1-6