Jesus calls Levi (Matthew)

TEXT: MARK 2:12-14

The last disciple recorded in scripture among the early disciples is Levi, also known as Matthew, who was sitting at a place that takes a toll for people to be able to pass.  It was a kind of  "toll tax office" (REFERENCE: Mark 2:13-14). Perhaps it was the Middle East's version of a toll booth.

It is not known how many disciples Jesus called in total, but it was more than 12 (REFERENCE: Mark 3:13-21). And if you count the disciples who were named in scripture before Jesus chose 12 for his inner circle, you'll find only six names - the other six names were revealed when Jesus made His final selection.

'12'

We should note that, although the names of all of Jesus' disciples were not written down in scripture, it doesn't mean they were "un-called" when Jesus chose the 12 inner-circle disciples. Instead, their names, like the names of all Christians, are written in the Lamb's Book of Life and they were no less disciples than the inner 12 chosen by Jesus.

SHORT BUT POWERFUL

We do not see any long conversation taking place between Jesus and Levi. Just "Follow me," spoken by Jesus and, of Levi arising and following Jesus (Mark 2:14).

We do see a bit more about Levi in Luke 5:27-39. Levi is described as a publican - today, his occupation would be as a tax collector. We see the same mini-conversation between Jesus and Levi that we saw in the Gospel according to Mark - but we also see that Levi invited Jesus to a great feast at his house, a feast where almost everyone was a tax collector.

Next, we see the scribes and Pharisees, who knew about the party, questioning Jesus' disciples about sitting down and eating a meal with "unclean" tax collectors and sinners at the feast.

Levi gave his heart to Jesus, and the joy of that decision is what caused him to want to show his gratitude by celebrating his decision by calling his friends together to feast and to introduce his friends to Jesus. Further, there were others at the feast who were not tax collectors, and they were also introduced to Jesus.

In this feast, we see what happens Levi's joy when Jesus entered his heart. The host of the feast was Levi,  but the reason for the feast was, and is today, Jesus. Without Jesus, there would have been no reason for Levi to celebrate.

And also, as with Levi, Christians express their joy to their friends and family, and then introduce them to Jesus by testifying what he has done in their lives. The joy of the Christian's "feast" is so great that they go into the "highways" and "byways" to come in and join in the Gospel feast.