As he went along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting in the tax office, and said to him, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him.
wise ones learn through teaching
fools teach and teach without learning
for a moment consider yourself wise
and that you are teaching forgiveness
whatever category of sin or distress considered
current examples are needed from everyday experience
without a new application the best teaching
winds down into creedal inquisition
those and that found on our journey
are a test of what we have so far learned
each opportunity pulls us deeper
until we move from forgiveness to premeditated mercy
forgiving after the fact is doable and difficult
doing so before sin talk enters adds joy
All manner of reasons can be given for why a person would enter the service of Rome through the tribute/tax office of Herod. None of them would likely be a lateral or downward move. In difficult times this can be seen as a good decision even if being a tax collector is seen by many as a description of a traitor.
We know that Levi’s status is frozen in place. Like Nazareth, what good can come from a tax collector?
It is into this scene of social paralysis that Jesus comes with his announcement of good news in the midst of all that violent occupation means. “Follow me”, is the language. “Beloved, be unstuck”, is the message. Now we need to think about Levi and whether he heard this as foolishness and would choose to stay or a choice of last resort and this is the day to yell, “I can’t take it any more!” This is more about the state of Levi than it is how much Jesus he has experienced.