The call of Levi (Mk 2:14-2:14)

“As Jesus was walking along,

He saw Levi,

The son of Alphaeus,

Sitting

At the tax booth.

He said to him.

‘Follow me!’

He got up.

He followed him.”

 

καὶ παράγων εἶδεν Λευεὶν τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἀκολούθει μοι. καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ

 

Luke, chapter 5:27-28, and Matthew, chapter 9:9, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this event.  However, there are some significant differences.  Matthew called this man Matthew instead of Levi, his Jewish name.  Luke followed Mark in calling him Levi.  Matthew and Luke did not mention his father, but Mark did.  It is strange that Matthew did not mention the name of his father.  Jesus was walking along (καὶ παράγων), when he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus (εἶδεν Λευεὶν τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου), sitting in his tax office, toll booth, or tax booth (καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον).  Jesus simply said to him (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ) to follow him (Ἀκολούθει μοι).  Then Levi got up and followed him (καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ) without any need to explain why or how he was doing this.  At this point in the gospel of Mark, as in the other gospels, Levi was the 5th named apostle after the brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, and the brothers James and John.