Just Like That…

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Contributed by Russ Perkins, Elder Overseer of Communities at Image Church

I appreciate the Gospel of Mark.  Its style is direct, straightforward, no mincing of words.

Mark 2:14 – And as he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. [ESV]

The scene depicts Jesus’ public ministry at its initial stage.  Jesus is building His team.  He sees Levi, who will later draft the Gospel of Matthew (Jesus could already see Levi’s potential).  Jesus calls this despised scoundrel to join Him.  Levi, a Tax Collector, was seen as a traitor to his own people.  Yet, Jesus still picks him and asks Levi to follow Him — to join His team.  What is most striking to me is not that Jesus called Levi but rather the speed and urgency of Levi’s obedient response.  Levi rose and followed… just like that!  It seems to me a few things must have been at work in Levi.  We are all required to understand and exercise them all.

Belief and obedience — it matters what we believe.  Likewise, it matters that we act on those beliefs.  It seems the only rational way to explain Levi’s prompt action is to link it to what he must have come to believe.  What Levi truly believed resulted in his actions.  Levi believed Jesus was who He claimed to be.  That fact would change the direction, pursuits and ultimate outcome of his life.

So, who do you believe Jesus is?  How you answer will make all the difference.  As belief and obedience changed the direction, pursuits and outcome of Levi’s life, so it will do the same for us.

Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. Do you believe Jesus’ assertions?

Belief is only part of the equation.  Faith’s completion is found in obedience.

So, like Levi, are we in faith obeying what we believe?

The advancement of His Kingdom will require nothing less from us.

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