Levi meets Jesus

Levi meets Jesus and they eat a meal together


Marion Cooper

This study is one of a series of Studies in Mark's Gospel in EasyEnglish.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.



Mark 2:13-17 (see Mark's Gospel in EasyEnglish)


Levi was usually called Matthew. Jesus asked him to be a *disciple (Matthew 9:9).

People had to pay taxes to the *Romans. Levi's work was to take the money.

For two reasons *Jews did not like the men who did that work. The Romans were their enemies. Sometimes the men took too much money. They kept it for themselves and became very rich.

Jesus ate a meal at Levi's house and many other people were there. Some *Pharisees and teachers of God's rules saw Jesus eating the meal. The name 'Pharisees' means 'the separate men'. God had given rules to the Jews. But the teachers had made many more rules. The Pharisees said that people must also obey all those extra rules. That made life very hard for poor people. Pharisees stayed away from people who did wrong things.

The Pharisees said that Jesus should not eat with bad people. When they said that, they were talking about many different groups of people. They meant people who broke God's rules and people who broke the extra rules. And they meant the people who worked for the Romans. Pharisees believed that people who did wrong things were *unclean. So if you ate with them you would become unclean also.

The Pharisees did not understand that Jesus wanted to talk to bad people. People who are well do not need a doctor to help them. The Pharisees believed that they were good. They thought that they did not need help from Jesus.

People who are bad are like people who are ill. They need help to become better. Jesus told people that God loved them very much. He had come to help them.

Questions to ask

V13   Why did Jesus often walk by Lake Galilee?

V14   What did Levi think when Jesus spoke to him?

V14   Do you think Levi was surprised that Jesus called to him?

V15   Why did Jesus eat a meal with Levi?

V16   Why did the Pharisees ask Jesus' disciples a question?

V16   Did Jesus become 'unclean' when he ate the meal with Levi and friends?

V17   Were the Pharisees good people?

V17   Did the Pharisees need help from Jesus?

Something to do

When Levi went with Jesus his life became very different. He could never do his work again.  Would you leave your work to follow Jesus?

The Pharisees obeyed a lot of God's rules and men's rules. They believed that made them good people. They thought that it would cause God to love them very much.

Does God love you more when you obey his rules?

Words to explain

Disciple ~ a person who wants to do the same things as another person and learn from them; a person who does what Jesus taught.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children; a person who has the faith of the Jews, called Judaism.

Pharisee ~ one of a group of Jews who thought that they kept all God's rules. They did not like the things that Jesus taught. They thought that they did not do any wrong things. So, they thought that they were very important and clever.

Roman ~ a person from Rome. Rome was a powerful city; it had a strong army.

Unclean ~ when something is not right to use because God does not accept it.