Read: Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27-32
And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. (Luke 5:28 ESV)
Matthew the tax collector (also called Levi) was probably wealthy compared to the people around him. He was essentially a government sponsored swindler. An employee of the Roman’s, it was Matthew’s job to get the needed taxes from his countrymen. Anything collected above the needed amount was kept as payment. It was a system that set Matthew up as an apparent traitor to his fellow Jews. That all changed for Matthew the day Jesus walked into his life.
Matthew left everything. The tax booth, the pay check, his assignment by the Roman conquerors. He left it all and started following a homeless traveling preacher. Why? Because Matthew recognized that there was nothing he had that was better than anything Jesus was offering. To him that was worth leaving everything.
How does the story translate to us today? Are you and I willing to leave behind everything? What would that even look like? Those are pretty tough questions to consider. They are made even tougher if you are someone sitting high atop the ladder of financial success. Still, Matthew did it. So can we. He even went on to write the Gospel that bears his name.
Our pursuits and passions are often varied and frivolous. Sometimes our careers can be as well. A life lived in full pursuit of Jesus is never frivolous. It is measured. It is costly. It is worth leaving everything.