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Lesson # Luke 5:27-28
Study Material - Luke 5:27-28
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
27 And after that He went out, and noticed a tax-gatherer named Levi, sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, 'Follow Me.' 28 And he left everything behind, and rose and began to follow Him.
So, you're probably wondering what can possibly be said about these two verses? But they do not stand alone. They follow the previous verses where people looked on, where people were awed, and sort of entertained, but now there is a decision, a very difficult decision for some, and a very easy decision for others. Then there are hose who will vacillate back and forth throughout their entire life between their old pattern of living (sin nature) and the new pattern that is called for by God.
Jesus went by the tax office and saw Levi (Matthew). Tax guys are not looked on with much favor. That was true then and is still true in our current day. No one loves the tax man, no one loves to be gouged by taxes.
There are three taxes designated in the Bible - one 10% tax for the state, one 10% tax for the Levitical Priesthood, and every third year a 10% tax for charity. Now that the Levitical Priesthood does not exist then a very fair tax is a 10% tax on income (not on property, not on value) alone on transactions. Anything else is very unreasonable. Doers anyone on the planet have such a tax? Well in certain Caribbean islands there is no tax, but in general, in the major countries of the world, the taxes are high to the point of being excessive. Anyway, that just goes with living in the jungle - death and taxes are the only things that one can depend on or so the saying goes.
The tax man and sinners are two terms used in the same breath. It did not make the Pharisees too happy that Jesus would visit their work let alone their home. But that is another study.
Jesus stated to Levi, 'Follow me.' It is in the imperative. It is a command not a request. Jesus did not say or ask, 'Would you follow me?' He did not ask, 'Do you follow me?' He did not say, 'Consider following me.' He did not make it an option, 'Follow me if or when it might be more convenient ...'
Jesus stated implicitly, 'Follow me.' That was the command to Levi, and the command for you and me.
Previously there was a crowd who had gathered because of the rumors of great or remarkable things happening. They came and they saw, and they went away in awe.
Following Christ means a total change in ones life, in ones thinking, in ones actions. It is a total transformation of the mind which leads to a different pattern of thinking and a different pattern of lifestyle.
The priests saw the miracle, but they looked deeper through the 'illusion' to discover its origin. One would think that they would do the same in their area of expertise - the scriptures. But as we saw in yesterday's study, often times a pattern of thought, a pattern of ritual and habit is very difficult to overcome especially when it saturates society.
Levi rose and followed. He left everything behind. Does this mean that we should all quite our jobs, sell our homes, and hike out to the woods and live next to nature? No. Only a fool would do that. And there are a lot of fools in the world. Various cults have following's of such individuals. They do a good business accepting 'humbly' the burdens of their victims money.
Our commitment is in our soul. That is the only place where a commitment is meaningful. The change required a conscious effort on Levi's part. He rose and he left. We have a conscious effort expected of us too. We need to rise up out of our pattern of life and leave it behind. We need to begin and maintain a daily study habit in Bible doctrine, then we need to apply what we learn to our daily lives. This is commanded over and over in the scriptures. 'Follow My commands and be perfect,' as God told Abraham. Learn them, be in fellowship, and apply them to your daily life
Make a decision. Don't simply follow the show from time to time and feel good for the holiday, or only on Sunday's, but make a commitment. God knows the extent of our commitment to His Word, and so do you. Your eternal evaluation will depend on your decisions, your daily decisions. And remember that eternity is far longer than your physical life here on earth.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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