The calling of Levi. This story is listed twice in my Thompson Chain Reference Bibles, Harmony of the Gospels.
It is interesting, one listed the Calling of Matthew, this one the calling of Levi. The same scriptures, but I find myself writing slightly different posts.
I hope you enjoy.
Mark 2:14-20. Matthew 9:9-15. Luke 5:27-35
King James Version (KJV)
“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.
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.
And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”
Once again, we find Jesus out among the people. He didn’t wait in the Sanctuary for people to come to Him.
He was out looking to find those who needed Him.
We have no idea why Levi stood out, unless it again was a Word of Knowledge, that Jesus knew that which was impossible to know.
Except it be revealed by God. Levi, if asked, would follow Him, and immediately, he did.
He didn’t just follow, he prepared a feast, called all his fellow tax collectors and sinners to meet the Man, Jesus. (His Disciples joined them).
It tells us many followed Him.
When we first meet the Master, we desire to share Him with everyone. Unfortunately, our zeal cools down.
Why? Sorry to say, sometimes it is because of the Religious, the Scribes and Pharisees. You say we have no Scribes or Pharisees today?
Well open your eyes. So many of our church leaders, are more concerned with the Law then the Spirit.
They really do, Pat us on the head, and say there there, you will see, God doesn’t do that anymore.
Apparently, Jesus lied, when He told us in John 14, that these things I do and more, will you do. ONLY BELIEVE.
Jesus goes on to tell us, He hasn’t come for the Righteous, but the sinner. Not to bring the Law, but Liberty.
The Lord used signs and wonders in Egypt. To convince Pharaoh and the Hebrews that He was real. Jesus, used signs and wonders for the same reason.
He told us to continue therein and build His Kingdom. What happened? Who changed?
They asked about fasting. Some Denominations do not practice or teach on fasting.
I guess they reason, we have Jesus in our hearts, there is no need to fast. What does it accomplish anyway?
We forget, to heal the young man, who was vexed by an unclean spirit, that they could not expel.
He said: “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
Fasting is a way of humbling ourselves before the Lord. It gets His attention, when we deny ourselves, when in search for answers.
We can fast pleasant foods as Daniel, one meal a day or week, 3,7,14,21, or 40 day fasts. They are all represented in the Bible.
I think He would even honor fasting our favorite things. TV, the Internet, secular music… ect.
The important thing is to Seek His Face. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.
King James Version (KJV)
9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
King James Version (KJV)
27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
33 And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?
34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?
35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.