Jesus called Levi to follow him, and “Levi stood up and became his follower.” The reception for Jesus didn’t follow immediately, although it’s the next verse. Time was needed to prepare, but “after that” Levi invited Jesus and a large crowd to his home. Two important questions marked this gathering as a symposium meal. First, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and non-observers?” And second, “Why aren’t your disciples fasting?” Isn’t it odd that the Pharisees complained that Jesus ate with sinners, but they were there too! Jesus’ answers were new like the new wine being poured into new wineskins. Followers of Jesus had to have a new perspective, a new way of doing things. Jesus’ way of life (and that of the early Christians for whom Luke was writing) was not a matter of patching up an old way of life. Old and new were incompatible. This was a call for conversion, a completely new way of thinking and living.
What about today? What about you and me? Do our thoughts, words, and actions reflect the culture seen in much of the media? Or do we stand so firmly with the gospel that our discipleship is clearly evident?