Thursday, April 30, 2009

Luke 5 -- Left Everything

Here in Luke 5 we get the account of Jesus assembling the 12. First we have Simon, who later is called Peter, then James and John the sons of Zebedee. They are all fishermen. They were carrying on the family trade which means they were not considered the best of the best in their Hebrew schooling. In other words they were anybodies, like you and I. After those three we find Jesus calling a tax collector to be a part of the 12, Levi. To those in the religious establishment, and most Jews, this was not only a shocking choice but a slap in the face, tax collectors notoriously extorted money from the people. No included in Luke 5 we know some interesting characters end up in the 12. Judas who would betray Jesus. Thomas the one known as the doubter. This was a rag tag bunch.

Some have said the 12 left everything and followed Jesus because they had nothing to lose. A little research shows this to be a crazy idea. The fishermen had a solid business. Levi was doing fine with tax collecting. So why did they follow? There are many fancy reasons to give, yet I think the most simple is they were called. When the proposal of Jesus met their ears, and their hearts, they knew this is what they were made to do. So without hesitation they left everything a followed.

In our Western American context we see everything and think about their jobs, families, security and possibly their future. We tend to look at the material. Sure they left that behind but they were also leaving behind less tangible things like the old life. A life ruled by The Law and by human ritual. They were leaving behind oppression and Roman control. They left everything, for the opportunity to follow Jesus as the Kingdom of God was unfolding right in front of them. New life was their new aim, they left everything else behind.

How about you? Are you not following the call of Christ because you are too focused on the material things in life? I may not even know you, but I know God is calling you right now. Will you follow?

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