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How did Jesus call Levi?

The calling of Levi, also known as Matthew, is an important moment in the life of Jesus as it marks the inclusion of a tax collector, who was considered an outcast and sinner in Jewish society, into his inner circle of followers.

According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was passing through the town of Capernaum when he saw Levi sitting at his tax booth. He called out to him, saying, “Follow me,” and Levi immediately left his booth and followed Jesus. This simple act of obedience and faith illustrates the power of Jesus’ words and the willingness of Levi to leave behind his former life and societal status to become a disciple of Jesus.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Levi is described as hosting a banquet for Jesus and his other disciples. This banquet was attended by many other tax collectors and sinners, which caused outrage among the Pharisees who saw this as a violation of Jewish law and custom. However, Jesus defended his actions and said that he had come to call sinners, not the righteous.

This story of the call of Levi portrays Jesus’ radical inclusivity and his willingness to embrace those who were considered outsiders and rejected by society. Through his actions and words, Jesus demonstrated that everyone is worthy of God’s love and mercy, regardless of their past or current circumstances.

The calling of Levi is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ message of love, forgiveness, and acceptance. It challenges us to see beyond societal norms and labels and to embrace all people with open arms, just as Jesus did.

Who was called Levi in the Bible?

In the Bible, Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite tribe of Levi. He was born in the city of Padanaram, shortly after Jacob’s return from his 20-year stay with his uncle Laban. The name Levi means “attached” or “joining,” and it was given to him by his mother Leah as a way of expressing her hope that her husband Jacob would become more closely attached to her.

In Genesis 29:34, Leah gives birth to Leah, the first four of Jacob’s 12 sons, and she names him Levi, saying, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Later in Genesis 35:22, when Jacob is returning to Canaan, Levi is mentioned again as one of the twelve sons of Jacob.

In the book of Exodus, the descendants of Levi are set apart as a priestly class, and they are given the responsibility of carrying out the religious duties of the Israelites. Moses and his brother Aaron are both Levites, and they play important roles in leading the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.

In the New Testament, there is a mention of a tax collector named Levi who becomes one of Jesus’ disciples. This Levi is also known as Matthew, and he is credited with writing one of the four gospels.

Levi is an important figure in the Bible as the founder of the tribe of Levi and the ancestor of the priestly class. His name has also become a popular choice for boys, particularly among those who have a strong interest in biblical names and their meanings.

Who was Levi in the Bible and what did he do?

Levi was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, who became the patriarch of the tribe of Levi in ancient Israel. In the Bible, he is portrayed as a complex figure, sometimes held in contempt and other times revered.

Levi’s most notable act was the violent revenge he and his brother Simeon exacted against the city of Shechem. Their sister, Dinah, had been raped by a local prince named Shechem, and in retaliation, the brothers killed every male in the city. This act brought significant negative consequences for their family, as neighboring tribes were outraged by the massacre.

Despite this violent episode, Levi was eventually chosen by God to serve as a priestly tribe, responsible for the care of the Tabernacle, or portable temple, during the Israelites’ journey through the desert. The tribe of Levi played a crucial role in maintaining Israel’s religious worship, performing sacrifices, and leading the people in prayer and praise.

Levi’s descendants also included the great high priest Aaron and his brother Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt and received the Ten Commandments.

In the New Testament, Levi is referred to as Matthew, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus encountered Matthew, a tax collector, and extended an invitation to follow him. Matthew responded by hosting a feast in Jesus’ honor and subsequently leaving his occupation to become a disciple.

Levi was a prominent figure in the early history of the Israelites, serving both as a perpetrator of violence and as a leader in religious worship. His legacy endured through his descendants, who played key roles in shaping the faith of Judaism and Christianity.

Why was Matthew called Levi?

There are a few different potential explanations for why Matthew was also referred to as Levi. First, it’s worth noting that in the Bible, names held significant meaning and were often changed or adapted based on various factors.

One explanation for why Matthew was called Levi is that Levi was his original name before he became a disciple of Jesus. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Levi was a tax collector sitting at a tax booth when Jesus called him to follow him. It’s possible that Levi was using this name in his professional capacity as a tax collector, and that he later adopted the name Matthew as a way of indicating his new identity as a disciple of Jesus.

Another explanation for why Matthew was called Levi is that the two names may have simply been used interchangeably. In some cases, people in biblical times had multiple names or nicknames that they went by, depending on the situation or the person they were interacting with. It’s possible that Matthew was known as Levi within certain circles or contexts, while he used the name Matthew in others.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the name Levi was significant in Jewish history, as it was the name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob (who later became the patriarch Israel). As a tax collector, Matthew would have been interacting with a variety of people from different backgrounds and may have wanted to retain his connection to Jewish tradition and heritage by using the name Levi.

There isn’t a definitive answer for why Matthew was called Levi, but it’s likely that a combination of these factors contributed to the use of both names in different contexts throughout the Bible.

Why was Levi chosen?

Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah, was chosen by God for a special purpose. In the Bible, Levi and his brother Simeon are portrayed as fierce and violent, as seen in their revenge against the Shechemites for the rape of their sister Dinah. However, it was not their violent tendencies that made Levi chosen, but rather their ability to lead and serve as representatives for God’s people.

Levi and his descendants were chosen to be priests, responsible for ministering to the Israelites in the tabernacle and later in the temple. This was a high calling, and only those who were of the tribe of Levi were eligible to serve in this capacity. God chose the tribe of Levi as a reward for their faithfulness in the aftermath of the golden calf incident, where they remained loyal to God while the rest of the Israelites worshiped a false idol.

The role of the priests was crucial in the religious life of ancient Israel, and their duties included offering sacrifices, teaching the laws of God, and leading worship services. They were also responsible for keeping the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant, where God’s presence was believed to reside, safe and sacred.

Furthermore, the Levites also played a role in the wider community, serving as judges and teachers of the law. They were seen as mediators between God and the people, and their position of authority was respected and revered.

Levi was chosen by God for his faithfulness and leadership qualities, to become a priest and to serve the Israelites as representatives of God. This was an honor and responsibility that would be passed down to his descendants, and one that they would continue to fulfill throughout the history of Israel.

What do we learn from the call of Levi?

The call of Levi, also known as Matthew, is a significant event in the New Testament, and it provides us with several essential lessons. In the Gospels, Matthew is portrayed as a tax collector, someone who is despised by the Jewish community for collaborating with the occupying Roman authorities and, in some cases, for extorting money from his fellow Jews.

But despite his profession, Jesus invites Matthew to follow him, and Mattew responds by leaving everything behind and becoming a disciple.

Firstly, we learn that God’s love and grace are available to everyone, regardless of their past. In the call of Levi, Jesus does not look at Matthew’s past sins or profession but instead sees his potential and what he can become. This event reminds us that no matter how big our mistakes or how much we may have strayed from God’s will, we can always turn to Him in repentance and receive His grace and forgiveness.

Secondly, the call of Levi teaches us that following Jesus requires a radical change in our lives. As soon as Matthew responds to Jesus’ invitation, he immediately leaves his old life as a tax collector behind and starts following Jesus. This idea of “leaving everything” or “dying to self” is a recurring theme in the Gospels, and it reminds us that following Jesus involves a complete surrender of our lives to Him.

Thirdly, the call of Levi highlights the importance of obedience to God’s call. It is likely that Matthew did not fully understand the implications of his decision to follow Jesus, but he trusted Jesus and obeyed his call nonetheless. In the same way, we are called to obey God’s call, even if we do not fully understand what it entails.

Lastly, the call of Levi teaches us about the power of Jesus’ transformative work in our lives. Matthew’s encounter with Jesus did not just lead to a change in his profession, but also to a change in his identity. He went from being known as a tax collector to an apostle and gospel writer. This transformation reminds us that encountering Jesus has the power to change every aspect of our lives and can transform us into the people God created us to be.

The call of Levi provides us with essential lessons about God’s love and grace, the need for a radical change in our lives, obedience to God’s call, and the transformative power of Jesus. By learning from Matthew’s story, we can deepen our faith, grow in our relationship with Christ and become better disciples of Him.

Why did Leah name her son Levi?

According to the Bible, Leah named her son Levi because she believed that God had seen her affliction and that her husband, Jacob, would become more closely united to her as a result. Leah had been competing with her sister Rachel for Jacob’s affection, and had been frustrated by Jacob’s preference for Rachel over herself.

However, when she became pregnant with her fourth child, she believed that God had shown her favor by allowing her to bear a son.

The name Levi means “attached” or “joined”, and Leah specifically chose this name because she hoped that her son would become a source of unity between herself and Jacob. She believed that by giving Jacob another son, she would strengthen their bond and help him to see her in a more positive light.

Additionally, in ancient Near Eastern culture, having many sons was a sign of wealth and social status, so Leah may have also been motivated by a desire to increase her own prestige in Jacob’s eyes.

Moreover, Leah knew that her son Levi would be blessed by God and that he would become the ancestor of the priestly tribe of Israel. According to Jewish tradition, the priesthood was an extremely honorable and important position, and being a Levite (a member of Levi’s tribe) was considered a great privilege.

Therefore, by naming her son Levi, Leah was also acknowledging the special role that he would play in Israel’s history and the important spiritual responsibility that his descendants would inherit.

In short, Leah named her son Levi because she believed that he would be a blessing from God, a source of unity between herself and Jacob, and the ancestor of an important priestly tribe. Her choice of name reflected both her faith in God’s favor and her desire to strengthen her own position within her family and society.

What is the tribe of Levi known for?

The tribe of Levi is known for its role as priests in ancient Israel. According to the Hebrew Bible, Levi was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, and his descendants were set apart as priests and religious leaders. The Levites were responsible for maintaining the Temple in Jerusalem, offering sacrifices, and teaching the people about the laws and commandments of God.

One of the key figures in the history of the Levites was Moses, who was himself a member of the tribe. According to tradition, Moses was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and he received the Ten Commandments and other laws from God on Mount Sinai. Moses appointed his brother Aaron and Aaron’s descendants as the high priests of Israel, and the rest of the Levites served as assistants and support staff.

Over the centuries, the role of the Levites evolved and expanded. They became responsible for a range of activities beyond the Temple, including teaching, leadership, and civil administration. They were also known for their musical skills and were often employed as musicians and singers.

In addition to their religious duties, the Levites were also known for their moral and ethical standards. They were expected to be models of righteousness and purity, and their behavior was supposed to be a source of inspiration and guidance for the rest of the nation. This emphasis on moral purity and religious devotion helped to establish the Levites as one of the most respected and influential groups in ancient Israel.

Today, there are no longer any Levitical priests or Levites in the traditional sense. However, the legacy of the tribe of Levi lives on in Jewish tradition and religious practice, and the ideals of moral purity and religious devotion continue to inspire and guide people of faith around the world.

Who was Levi in the book of Malachi?

Levi was one of the 12 sons of Jacob and the patriarch of the Levites, the tribe of Israelites who were set apart to serve as priests in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. In the book of Malachi, Levi is addressed in the context of the corrupt priesthood of his descendants, who had strayed from their calling and were no longer honoring God with their service.

Malachi accuses the priests of dishonoring God by offering blemished sacrifices, neglecting their duties, and showing partiality in their judgments. He warns them that they will be punished for their sins and that God will raise up a new generation of priests who will serve Him faithfully.

Although Levi himself is not mentioned by name in the book of Malachi, his legacy as the father of the Levitical priesthood is invoked as a contrast to the unfaithfulness of his descendants. Malachi reminds the priests that God had chosen the tribe of Levi to be His special people and had made a covenant with Levi’s ancestor, Aaron, promising to bless and honor his descendants if they remained faithful to their calling.

In this way, Levi serves as a symbol of the high calling and noble heritage of the priesthood, and the failure of the priests to live up to that calling is a direct affront to his legacy and to God’s covenant with him. Therefore, Malachi’s message to the priests is a call to repentance and renewal, to return to the faithful service exemplified by Levi and to honor the covenant that God had made with him, in order to avoid the judgment that was surely coming upon them.

What did Jesus say to Levi when he found him?

According to the Bible in Luke 5:27-32, Jesus encountered a tax collector named Levi while he was going about his business collecting taxes. When Jesus found Levi, he simply said to Levi, “Follow me” (Luke 5:27). This invitation to follow Jesus was not simply an invitation to walk with him physically, but rather an invitation to become a disciple of Jesus, to learn from him and become part of his inner circle.

Levi’s profession as a tax collector was generally despised in Jewish society at that time because tax collectors were seen as traitors who worked for the oppressive Roman government and took advantage of their fellow Jews by overcharging them. However, despite Levi’s dubious reputation, Jesus saw something in him that made him worthy of the invitation to become a disciple, and Levi responded to Jesus’ call.

The story of Levi, who later became known as Matthew, illustrates both the unusual nature of Jesus’ call to discipleship and the transformative power of his message. When Levi accepted Jesus’ call and became his disciple, he left behind his old life and embraced a new way of living. He became a follower of Jesus and dedicated himself to the task of spreading his message, eventually becoming one of the twelve apostles.

In this brief encounter between Jesus and Levi, we see a glimpse of the power of Jesus’ message of forgiveness and salvation. Jesus’ call to Levi was not one of condemnation or judgment, but rather one of invitation and acceptance. This message of acceptance and transformation continues to resonate with people today, inspiring them to leave behind their old lives and embrace a new way of living in relationship with Jesus.

Why did Jesus tell Levi to follow him?

Levi, also known as Matthew, was a tax collector, a profession considered by many as corrupt and dishonest during Jesus’ time. However, when Jesus came across Levi sitting at the tax booth, He simply said, “Follow me,” and Levi got up and followed Him.

Jesus chose Levi to be one of His disciples because He saw something in him that He knew would make a significant difference in His ministry. Jesus saw in Levi a man who was not just interested in material things, but someone who had a deep desire for spiritual fulfillment.

Moreover, Jesus understood the significance of the transformation that would take place in Levi’s life once he followed Him. For instance, once he became a disciple and began to walk with Jesus, he would abandon all the corrupt practices that characterized his previous profession. This transformation, in turn, would demonstrate the transformative power of following Jesus.

Furthermore, by choosing Levi, Jesus also showed that He was willing to offer his message and salvation to all types of people, including those who were considered sinners during His time. This inclusiveness was a crucial part of Jesus’ ministry as He sought to reach out to those who were marginalized and excluded from society.

Jesus chose Levi to follow Him not only to further His ministry but also to demonstrate the transformative power of following God’s call. His willingness to choose those who others considered sinful or unworthy also demonstrated the inclusiveness of His message of love and salvation.

What does the Bible say about Levi?

The Bible mentions Levi numerous times throughout its various books, particularly in the Old Testament. Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah, born in the land of Canaan. According to Genesis, when Leah gave birth to Levi, she exclaimed, “Surely my husband will love me now.” (Genesis 29:34). It is said that Levi’s name means “joined” or “attached,” possibly indicating the close bond between his mother and father.

The tribe of Levi became one of the twelve tribes of Israel, and was set apart as a special tribe by God. The Levites did not receive a land inheritance like the other tribes, but were given specific duties within the tabernacle, including caring for the sanctuary and conducting sacrifices.

One of the most famous Levites in the Bible is Moses, who was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was a descendant of Levi, as was his brother Aaron, who served as the first high priest of Israel.

Levi himself is not depicted in the Bible as having a particularly important role, although his descendants played a significant part in the religious and cultural life of the Israelites. In the New Testament, the apostle Matthew is described as a former tax collector who became one of Jesus’ disciples.

According to Matthew 9:9, Jesus saw Matthew sitting in his tax collector’s booth and said “Follow me,” and Matthew followed. Matthew is also referred to as “Levi” in Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27.

Levi is seen as an important figure in the history and culture of Israel, particularly through the tribe of Levites and their role in the tabernacle and later the temple. While Levi himself is not described in great detail in the Bible, his descendants played important roles in the Bible’s narrative, particularly in the accounts of Moses and the priestly line of Aaron.

What is significant about the call of Levi?

The call of Levi, also known as Matthew, is significant for multiple reasons. Firstly, Levi was a tax collector, a profession considered immoral and dishonest in ancient times. However, Jesus saw past his societal status and saw potential in Levi to become a follower of Jesus and spread his message of love and salvation.

Secondly, Levi’s response to Jesus’ call was immediate and whole-hearted. He left his profession and followed Jesus, proving his devotion and desire to change his ways. This serves as an example to all believers that it is never too late to repent and turn towards God.

Thirdly, the calling of Levi represents Jesus’ mission to reach out to the sinners and outcasts of society. Jesus did not only come for the righteous but also for those who had strayed and needed guidance. This serves as a reminder to all believers that we should strive to reach out to those who are on the fringes of society and welcome them into the community of believers.

Lastly, the calling of Levi resulted in the writing of the Gospel of Matthew. As a former tax collector, Levi had a unique perspective on Jesus’ teachings and was able to provide insights and details that other disciples could not. His gospel serves as a valuable contribution to the New Testament and a source of inspiration for believers today.

The calling of Levi holds great significance in the history of Christianity. It serves as a reminder that God’s love and grace are available to everyone, regardless of their past, and that true repentance and devotion can lead to lasting change and spiritual growth.


  1. Jesus Calls Levi – UBF Resources
  2. The Calling of Levi (Mark 2:13-17) | Theology of Work
  3. Why Jesus Called Levi, the Tax Collector to Follow Him
  4. Jesus Calls Levi | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at …
  5. Following Jesus Today: The Surprising Call of Jesus