"As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."
Text: 1 Peter 2:2-3
NEVER LOSING SIGHT OF THE DIVINE PURPOSE
Jesus never lost sight of the purpose for which He was sent. His Father had sent Him to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. If the scribes were not willing to receive Jesus as One who had authority to forgive sins and to heal, that did not change anything at all. Jesus left the house at Capernaum, and walked by the sea of Galilee.
TEACHING THE MULTITUDES
A multitude soon gathered around Jesus. If the scribes did not think that they could learn from Jesus, the multitudes did.
“Then He went out again by the sea;
and all the multitudes came to Him, and He taught them.”
Wherever the multitudes were, and wherever there were people who flocked to Him, Jesus never allowed any opportunity to pass Him by. He would teach whoever would listen to Him.
CALLING OUT FOR MORE DISCIPLES
It was wonderful to teach the Word of God to the multitudes. But deep down, Jesus longed for people who would be prepared to step out of the anonymity of belonging to the multitudes into a deep and personal relationship with Him as His disciples.
“As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus
sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’
So he arose and followed Him.”
1. Calling a tax collector as a prospective disciple?
Jesus must have surprised many when He called out to Levi and invited him to follow him.
a) No previous mention of Levi
None of the Gospel accounts indicate that Jesus knew Levi previously. He was not known to be a disciple of John the Baptist, as Andrew was (Cf. John 1:40).
b) Shunned and hated by just about everybody
Tax collectors were despised and hated by many in first century Israel. They were hated as collaborators of the Roman rulers. They were despised as people who cheated the masses in the manner in which they collected the taxes. Generally, they were treated almost like pariahs.
2. A grateful response
Without hesitation, Levi left everything and followed Jesus! If nobody else did, he recognized the significance of this call of Jesus to follow Him as His disciple!