Luke 5

Read Luke 5.

[27] After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” [28] And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.

Luke 5:27-28, ESV

There’s something beautiful about the simplicity of Jesus’ invitation to Levi: “Follow me.” Luke tells us that Levi left everything, got up, and followed Jesus. It doesn’t take long, however, for the Pharisees and scribes to try to complicate matters. They wanted to know why Jesus thought it was okay to eat and drink with people like Levi. They wanted stronger barriers for those who would come to Jesus, and while they didn’t address their questions directly to Jesus, that didn’t stop Jesus from answering them directly, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Jesus has a way of simplifying that which we might otherwise complicate. We can be quick to add exceptions and amendments to the call of Jesus, more determined that people start following Jesus from exactly where we are than that they hear the simplicity of Jesus’ invitation wherever they are: “Follow me.” I pray that we can enjoy the beauty of receiving that simple invitation and the power of extending it to others.

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