Luke 5.27-28 – Hearing the divine call and the gift of faith
Posted: 27 July 2012 in Luke

And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him.

In the past, when I read accounts of how Jesus said “follow me” to one of the twelve disciples, and they immediately dropped everything in their life to follow him, it seemed to me that they must already have made the acquaintance of Jesus prior to their call. After all, nobody abandons their existing commitments, friends, family and lifestyles in order to follow the first stranger who comes along saying “follow me”. But there is an alternative explanation, which is a direct intervention by God to give the twelve the ability to perceive the true person and nature of Jesus.

There does not seem to be a biblical basis for deciding in favour of the one explanation or the other, and both explanations seem plausible. If the second is the true explanation, however, it is another example of God directly intervening in the lives of men to ensure that his will is fulfilled. This time not to harden the heart of Pharaoh, as in Exodus 9.16, but to soften hearts of those men he had chosen to be Jesus’ most intimate companions; thereby ensuring that they would respond when called by Jesus.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Prov 21.1)

God is no respecter of persons, so that which is true of kings must also apply to the rest of us. In his intimate control over history, the Lord and God of all mankind is as far removed from the idol of Deism as it is possible to be.

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