Call of Levi

& LOY 29 Comments

In the Call of Levi story we learn about Jesus' attitude toward sinful persons and about his relationship with the Pharisees.

Matt. 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32; 15:1-2
(Huck 53; Aland 44, 93; Crook 67, 97)[1]

Revised: 27 October 2022

וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן יָצָא וַיַּרְא מוֹכֵס וּשְׁמוֹ לֵוִי יוֹשֵׁב אֵצֶל בֵּית הַמֶּכֶס וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לֵךְ אַחֲרַי וַיַּנַּח אֶת הַכֹּל וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ אַחֲרָיו וַיַּעַשׂ לֵוִי מִשְׁתֶּה גָדוֹל לוֹ וַיְהִי הוּא מֵסֵב בְּבֵיתוֹ וְהִנֵּה אֻכְלוּס גָּדוֹל שֶׁלְּמוֹכְסִים וּרְשָׁעִים שֶׁהָיוּ בָּאִים לִשְׁמוֹעַ לוֹ וַיִּלּוֹנוּ הַפְּרוּשִׁים וְסוֹפְרֵיהֶם עַל תַּלְמִידָיו לֵאמֹר לָמָּה עִם הַמּוֹכְסִים וְהָרְשָׁעִים הוּא אוֹכֵל וְשׁוֹתֶה וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֵין צוֹרֶךְ לַבְּרִיאִים בְּרוֹפֵא אֶלָּא לַחֹלִים [לְכוּ וְלִמְדוּ מָה הוּא חֶסֶד חָפַצְתִּי וְלֹא זָבַח] לֹא בָּאתִּי לִקְרֹוא לַצַּדִּיקִים אֶלָּא לָרְשָׁעִים לִתְשׁוּבָה

Some time later, Yeshua went out and noticed a toll collector named Levi sitting at a toll house, and he said to Levi, “Follow me as my disciple!” So leaving everything behind, Levi got up and followed Yeshua.

Levi prepared a sumptuous banquet in honor of Yeshua. As Yeshua was eating in Levi’s home, a whole crowd of toll collectors and other sinners came to listen to him.

But the Pharisees and their leaders complained against his disciples by asking, “Why is he celebrating with toll collectors and other sinners?”

“Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do,” Yeshua replied. “[Instead of criticizing me, go find out what God meant when he said: Mercy is more desirable to me than sacrifice.] God sent me to invite sinners to repent, not righteous people.”[2]


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Comments 29

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin
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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton studied at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies (2002). Joshua continued his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree in 2005. After seminary…
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