The Way: A Better Way
This past Sunday at the Mt. Laurel campus, Pastor Rick kicked off a new series titled The Way.
I was struck with Rick’s focus on Jesus’ invitation to Levi, later known as Matthew, to come and follow. First, an invitation from a Rabbi wasn’t just to physically follow, it was based on observation of an individual. The Rabbi would make the invite when he thought the person was ready to become a follower as an apprentice.
The problem, in this story, was that Levi was a tax collector. That meant he not only collected Roman taxes from his fellow Israelites, he actually bid on the work and, as long as he met the bid he made with Rome, he could keep any additional amounts he was able to extract from the people. So, while Levi may have done well for himself, he was not highly thought of by his own people.
But, the fact that Jesus didn’t tell Levi to let that life go first and THEN follow, he just said follow me is a great example of the wonderful gift we’re offered through faith in Christ Jesus. I’ve come to a new appreciation of the fact that there is no pre-conditions to becoming a Christ follower. You and I don’t need to get our lives together first. All we need to do is follow. Jesus will take care of the rest.
As we follow, our lives are transformed. What a relief to know that there isn’t something we need to do before that can happen.