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Leaving it all behind: Day 1 of 'Meals With Jesus'

 
Ed Drew | February 11th 2021

Read Day 1 of Meals With Jesus, a new family devotional from Ed Drew, Founder of Faith in Kids. These simple 10-minute family devotions in Luke’s Gospel explore Jesus’ character through nine meals that he shared with people. As you read these passages, your children will be transported to the dinner table alongside Jesus. They will see for themselves who Jesus really is and why they can trust him.

Day 1: Leaving it all behind

Where are we going today?

Jesus picked a hated tax collector to become his friend. Levi left everything to follow Jesus.

READY?

  • Optional. Can each person grab two or three objects that are precious to them or that represent favourite activities? Parents might grab a purse, a family picture or their car keys. Children might grab a soft toy, a screen, a photo of a friend, a soccer ball or a favourite piece of clothing.
  • Open your Bible to Luke 5 v 27-28.

LET'S GO!

Pray: Dear Father, help us to understand what is most precious. Amen.

Perhaps try...

  • Lay out your precious items on the floor.
  • What emergency would it take for you to run out of your home right now and leave them all behind?
  • If you can’t do this activity, ask a quick question instead: Which object is most precious to you?
  • Link: In today’s story Levi left everything to follow Jesus.

This week’s story

  • Where are we in the Bible? Jesus has begun to cause a stir. News is spreading about him. Crowds have been gathering. Now it is time for Jesus to choose a group of friends to be his disciples.
  • Look out for what we are told about the man Jesus chooses. (Look at the section entitled "A note about tax collectors" to find out more)
  • Read the passage.

Luke 5 v 27-28

27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax office. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” 28 Levi got up, left everything, and followed Jesus.

Levi saw in Jesus all that he valued, all that he needed, and exactly who he needed to listen to.

Questions for us all

1. What do you think a tax collector would have on his desk? (If you want, you could put your wallet, phone and house keys out in front of you.)

2. What sort of things do you imagine would fill Levi’s normal working day?

Question for 3s and 4s

What did Levi do when Jesus said, “Follow me”?

Question for 5-7s

What did Levi take with him, as he went to follow Jesus?

Question for over-7s

Why would Levi or you leave everything to follow someone?

Question for teens

You make choices each day about who to follow, who to be with, who to listen to, who to imitate... How do you make those decisions? What is it about Jesus that has attracted you to following him? OR What would Jesus need to be like for you or your friends to choose to follow him?

Think and pray

Thank Jesus for the good things he has given you. Have you discovered what you value more than Jesus? Talk to him about that.

Meals With Jesus

Meals With Jesus

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Encounter Jesus in the pages of Scripture with these easy-to-use 10-minute daily devotions for families.

Got time to chat?

What and who we value leads quickly to the decisions we make. Think about how you choose to fill your spare time, which people you choose to be around, and who you wish you could see more often. Can you see from these decisions what you value, what you love, who you trust, and how you choose friends? Levi saw in Jesus all that he valued, all that he needed, and exactly who he needed to listen to.

Something more for the adults?

We know the tax collector Levi better as Matthew, the writer of the first Gospel. It's intriguing that Matthew chose not to write about his own calling in his Gospel, but instead he tells us about his friends being called to follow Jesus. Read Matthew 4 v 18-22. Matthew must have smiled as he wrote this and remembered his own story. What do we learn about discipleship from these passages? Before you load a burden on yourself to be more, to think more, or to do more, just take a moment to ponder what we learn about Jesus’ role in discipleship.

A note about tax collectors

Levi was a tax collector: a Jew working for the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire had invaded the Jewish country, had made life harder for the Jewish people, and had killed some of Levi’s own people. So the Jewish people hated the Roman Empire for taking away their freedom. This meant that Levi and other tax collectors were hated traitors. They were collecting money from their own people to give to the Roman Empire; that money paid for the hated Roman soldiers to stay in their country!

It gets even worse. The tax collectors could charge whatever they liked. So if Levi’s Jewish neighbour owed two denarii, he could charge them three or four denarii and keep the extra money. Tax collectors got rich by stealing money from their own people. And if anyone argued, the Roman soldiers were on hand. Can you imagine how much the Jewish people hated Levi and the other tax collectors?

Jesus chose Levi! No one else chose to even talk to Levi. But Jesus went back to Levi’s for a party. Why? Did Jesus know what Levi had done?

 

 

To find out more about Meals With Jesus and to get your copy, click here.

Ed Drew

Ed Drew is the Director of Faith in Kids, resourcing children's ministry in the local church. Before that for twelve years he was the Children’s Worker at Dundonald Church, South West London. He’s married to Mary and they have three children. Previously Ed was an Engineer and he is still happiest building and fixing things.

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