So, what makes this individual unique in his calling? We must understand the term Tax Collector, this is a Jew that works for the Roman government collecting taxes for the Roman’s to finance their wars and lavish lifestyles, basically it was believed that he was stealing from the poor to finance the rich. Matthew/Levi lifestyle was funded by any additional money he could extort from people beyond what they owed and what the government paid him as a salary. We know for fact he was an employee of the Roman’s, as well as a tax collector who was educated and had a good business sense.
I love the simple but direct wording of Jesus to Matthew! Follow (Strong’s Concordance states it means "to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him :") ME! (Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Teacher/Rabbi, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the guy that in just a few years will die on the Cross for you and the entire world.
I’m convinced that Christ is simply stating the obvious "Follow Me." Focusing on the event just shortly after Matthew’s calling, we see the impact that Matthew has on his friends, he invited the other Tax collectors (the cities outcast into one room) to dinner and introduced them to Jesus. I’m often amazed at the excitement and simplicity of new Christians and their desire to introduce their friends to Jesus. They don’t care about the critics, the people judging them, people questioning their motives, they simply want their friends to know Jesus.
As I reflect on this story (passage) I must ask myself and you three questions.
Have you chosen to FOLLOW HIM as he has called you to? And, as you follow him have you become a disciple (student) of Christ?
Have you invited any of your friends recently to meet your Savior and Friend Jesus Christ?
As we reflect on these three questions, it is imperative that we Know HIM (Christ) as Savior, we are Following HIM to be His disciple (student) and sharing our faith with others is the foundation of Christ’s calling today for us.
Like Levi/Matthew are you Following HIM?