“The Call of Levi”
Recorded in three of the Gospels, the call of Levi (Matthew) was like all other conversions – a unique miracle of the new birth demonstrating the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. In contrast to the healing of the paralytic (2:1-12) in which others worked hard to bring a desperate man to the Savior, this account reminds us of the ability of the Lord to call men and women apart from human instrumentality.
1. A Surprising Call – v. 13
With no previous interest, Matthew was called by the Lord away from his sinful and consuming life-style as a tax-collector. Matthew was the least likely since he had not responded previously to the Lord even though He had regularly ministered in Capernaum and had recently taught the multitude, (v. 14) Matthew being absent.
2. A Sudden Call – v. 14
“As He passed by” – amazing that Matthew responded so quickly! One moment engaged in business, sitting at the receipt of custom the next minute following the Lord. Sitting (and going nowhere), now a follower of Christ and going somewhere. How quickly a person’s life can change.
3. A Simple Call – v. 14
“Follow Me” - No rituals required, no debate, no long discourse, no soul struggle on the part of Levi – just a simple call to salvation. Some people simply need to hear the Gospel to respond and “yes” is all that is needed.
4. A Significant Call – v. 15
“And many tax-collectors and sinners sat together with Jesus and His disciples…and they followed Him”. As Matthew’s heart and home were opened in grateful service to the Lord, many were impacted for the kingdom of God. Through his conversion, many came to the Lord. How many through us and how open is our home for the Lord’s sake? Never underestimate how quickly the Lord can change a life.
– Mark Kolchin 1/14/03