Why does someone make the choice to follow Jesus? Is it because of the skill of the one who witnesses to them? Does it happen because someone has a system that just cannot be denied? Absolutely not! The choice to follow Jesus is a choice of the heart. I may arise gradually within the heart of a child raised in a Christian home in which Jesus is always an honored guest. It may begin at a religious revival or during an invitation during a worship service. It may take place while having a cup of coffee or even standing in the check out line at a grocery store.
It happens when the Holy Spirit touches the heart of a person and everything comes into place to help them grasp their want, their need, their desire to be with Jesus.
In the story of Levi, the tax collector, we are not given any background. We do not have any idea of what spiritual battles, spiritual preparations, went it into the preparation of his heart that enables Jesus to say come and without a second thought, Levi followed.
I have had many such situations in my life. Times in which God worked through situations and circumstances to get me to follow as I should. Following Jesus is not a simple straight path to follow. It is a hard road, a painful road. It will be a road on which you will continually face the judgment of others. There will always be Pharisees and scribes who think they have the right to judge and condemn others. Yet these are the very people, the ones who society judges as not good enough, are the ones whom God seeks.
Jesus says, “I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners. He came to call me.