What on earth am I here for?
This is a great question. Rick Warren has a book, The Purpose Driven Life, that seeks to answer that question. It has become a best-seller because many are searching for meaning, purpose and fulfillment in their life.
The search for fulfillment takes many paths – money, fame, power, adventure, relationships… to name a few. But each of these journeys always ends in disappointment. They promise more than they can deliver.
We read in the Gospel of Mark of a man named Levi, whom Jesus calls Matthew. He was a tax collector. In those days a tax collector obtained his position by purchasing it from the Roman government. He then could charge whatever he wanted in order to recoup his investment plus earn his living. Matthew was probably a very rich and powerful man, but hated by his own people.
Matthew worked in Capernaum, a strategic location on trade routes. This was not only good for his business, but it became the ministry home of Jesus. Matthew probably saw and heard Jesus many times. Finally, one day it is recorded they had a very short encounter that changed Matthew’s life.
Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. (Mark 2:13-14)
Jesus sought out the man no one else wanted, the one everyone else wished would fall under the immediate wrath of God. But Jesus loved Matthew and commanded him to follow. Matthew immediately left all he had and became a follower of Jesus.
When Matthew chose to follow Jesus, it was an all-or-nothing choice. He could not go back to being a tax collector. The other disciples might go back to fishing (some did), but Matthew decided to leave all and follow Jesus.
He lost a job but found a destiny.
He lost a good income but found honor.
He lost comfortable security but found adventure.
He left his tax collector’s table but took his pen.
When you choose to follow Jesus, you begin a journey that will bring a fulfillment that money, fame, or power cannot satisfy. It will give an eternal perspective on everything you do. Follow Jesus and find fulfillment.