When Levi met Jesus and began to follow him, one of the first things he did was to invite some friends over for a meal so that they could meet Jesus too. Levi’s friends were not religious or deeply devoted to God. But he knew Jesus could change their life. And the first step in that process would be for them to meet Jesus personally.
Not all of the religious leaders of the day (Pharisees and scribes) thought that this was a proper place for Jesus to be. They would have preferred for Jesus to only spend time with certain groups of people, and certainly not these “tax collectors and sinners.” But Jesus was right where he was supposed to be. He knew his divine purpose was to call all people to turn from their sin and follow him. He had good news for all who would believe in him. Unfortunately the religious leaders themselves didn’t follow Christ. But some people like Levi did!
Read the story for yourself:
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him.
Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for Him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were guests with them. But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus replied to them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:27-31)
So let’s follow the example of Matthew.
Think about the friendships you have. Invite those friends to your home, a coffee shop, or the park to spend time together. Have conversations about tons of things. Grab a coffee or have a meal together. As part of your conversation, talk about your faith in Christ and what God is doing in your life. Listen well to your friends to know how to pray for them. Be ready to share the good news of salvation that Jesus offers to all who believe. Encourage your friends to follow Christ.
He can change their life!