Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Tax Collector Who Left His Money Table

By Mary Vee
Mark 2; Luke 5, Matthew 9



From Mark's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
I am standing on the shore of
The Sea of Galilee at Capernaum
These rock served a great purpose,
They helped amplify Jesus' voice when
he spoke to the large crowds.
My name is Mark. I am a disciple of Jesus. I am here with other disciples, so they may add something today. 

This morning, as every other one, Jesus started the day knowing exactly where He wanted to go and what He wanted to do. There were no questions or floundering. Jesus had a plan. Sometimes He told us ahead of time. Sometimes He didn't. But He always had a plan and nothing seemed to surprise HIm.

Shortly after breakfast, we walked with him down to the shore of the Sea of Galilee. There were fishermen around and crowds gathered to buy fresh fish. They looked over and saw Jesus. 

People pointed. They said His name.

It didn't take long for the crowd to leave the market and  come to hear Jesus speak. His reputation for healing the sick and speaking words that had an authority they'd not heard from the priests had spread in this area. 

They liked to hear Him speak and were willing to listen to Him talk about God's teachings for hours.

Jesus walked along the shore that morning, and turned toward a man sitting at a table off to the side. His name was Levi and he was a tax collector. In our time, tax collectors were not thought of very highly. They tended to take more than the tax that was due from the people. 

If a person didn't pay what the tax collector demanded, he or she could be put into slavery. The tax collectors became very rich. Levi was no exception.

Levi sat at his table when Jesus looked his way. Jesus called out to him, "Follow me."

I smile because I remember when Jesus said the same words to me a while ago. I understood what happened in Levi's mind the moment he heard Jesus say that. 

Levi had seen and heard about Jesus. He may have been curious but not enough to leave his work and devote his days listening to Jesus' teaching. But when Jesus said, "Follow Me," there was a sense of this is the right thing to do going on in our heads. Without a speck of doubt I knew, and he probably did too, the certainty that Jesus was a man who was worthy of following.

I wasn't surprised at all when Levi stood and left his tables. He walked down to the shore and joined Jesus' and His followers on the shore.

What he did next was unbelievable. Come back to read what happened.



Come back to read the next story.


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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.

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