“As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.”
In this familiar part of Scripture, Jesus is calling his disciples to follow him. He does not just call average people, he calls people who are considered sinners and outcasts. He calls tax-collectors, as we see him calling Levi here. Jesus explicitly says that he has come to call “not the righteous, but sinners.”
He recognizes that those who are righteous, those who think they have it all figured out, cannot follow another person. It’s impossible. In order to follow another, one must have a sense of humility. In order to follow another, one must recognize that you don’t have it all figured out. In fact, innate in the decision to follow someone is the sense that they might have something to teach you.
The people who have chosen to follow Jesus, both in the Bible and throughout history, have made the conscious choice that a life devoted to following Jesus will be more meaningful and more fulfilling than any other life they could choose. It means that we, as followers of Christ, have to continually remind ourselves that we are the followers. We must continually remind ourselves that we do not have it all figured out and need God to guide us through this life.
During our Lenten journeys, we have the perfect opportunity to reflect on how we are doing as followers. Are there times when you would rather lead than follow? What does following Jesus mean to you? Where do you feel that following Christ is leading you?
Loving God, you have promised to lead us on this journey of life. We admit that there are times we would rather follow other people, ideas, and even goals to create for ourselves a more meaningful life. But, we recognize that you, O God, have the best of intentions for us. Continue to lead us and mold us into your image. Amen.