As Jesus walked along the shore he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax collecting booth. So he says to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.
I belong to a private club called “The Pinkham Creek Society of People Who Catch Trout.” We’re a small club – just three of us – which is the only discernible reason I’ve been elected secretary. My ten-year-old daughter, Elly, won her bid for the presidency, and the remaining member, our dog, Mona, has been elected The Royal Pain in the Butt.
My colleagues and I all have various responsibilities. I find the deep holes along Pinkham Creek and bait the hook. Elly casts the line into the creek and waits for a bite. And Mona jumps into the creek and scares all the fish away. She then reports on the creek’s water temperature by shaking herself vigorously in front of us.
So far, our club has not met the goals of our “Mission Statement,” but you can be sure Mona will receive stinging innuendos when I type up the minutes for the next meeting.
Have you noticed Jesus’ strategy in forming a group? As Jesus walked along the lakeshore near Capernaum, he saw four fishermen, Simon, Andrew, James, and John, and called them to follow him.
So, what do we have here? Four fishermen who, obviously, know each other well. This is a team that can work together.
How do you like Jesus’ wisdom in putting together a group?
Not long after that, they return to the lakeshore at Capernaum, and meet . . . him – the most hated man in town. Levi was a tax collector and, as such, was an outcast from society. He would’ve been excommunicated from the synagogue. By collecting taxes for the Roman government, he was branded a traitor.
But it gets worse. Where was Levi working? On the lakeshore. Odd place to have a tax booth – until you realize that some tax collectors collected poll taxes. Levi had his tax booth on the lakeshore because he taxed the fishermen’s daily catch of fish.
Can you imagine the scene? Jesus says to his four fishermen disciples, “Guess who I just invited to join our group? Levi. You’ve all met Levi, haven’t you?”
Now how do you like Jesus’ wisdom in putting together a group?
When Jesus chooses followers he pulls people together from diverse backgrounds. He doesn’t want to create a club of people held together by similar prejudices or mindsets. He wants to create a miracle by transforming us into the body of Christ.
At our last meeting, Mona has been elected chairman of The Committee to Guard the Fish. We tie her to a tree, and when we catch some brookies, we have Mona stand guard over them – just in case they try any funny stuff.
Our club membership attracts diverse personalities, but I think we’re starting to jell as a team.
copyright 2012 by Marty Kaarre