Levi’s tax booth is located at the Sea of Galilee so that taxes (a small business tax) could be imposed on all of the fish that the fishermen where catching for their livelihood (Mark 2:13-14)
. Jesus, just days earlier had called four fishermen
at the same location to follow Him and He would make them become “fishers of men” (Mark 1:16-20
). Now Jesus takes these four individuals, Simon, Andrew, James and John, back to the same booth where they were extorted taxes from throughout their careers as fisherman and He shows them that He not only came to befriend the fishermen, but He also came to befriend the tax collector.
What a lesson for these new followers to learn about Jesus and His Kingdom. It was a lesson revealing equality for all which is an attribute of His kingdom. To answer the call of Jesus to follow Him meant that people would have to leave their professions and livelihoods. It was a tough decision to make on very little information. The fishermen Jesus had called earlier had an easier decision than Levi though, because if things didn’t work out with Jesus, they could always go back to fishing. But if Levi left his very lucrative government profession, he could never go back.
Beloved, please know that it is all about choices that we make. Today, as in Jesus’ day, He is still calling people to follow Him, but we must choose. God will never make the choice for us. He loves us so much that He desires to spend eternity with us, but He will not choose if we follow Jesus or not. If He did, He would override our human will and in doing so would not be a just God. But, God is just, so He calls us and allows us to choose if we will deny self and follow Jesus, making Him our Lord and our Savior.
Know that you are loved,