'From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent…’’ Matthew 4:17a
No one knows to how many people Jesus has said ‘Follow Me,’ but of Levi we know how he responded to this calling of Jesus: ‘And Levi got up, left everything and followed Him.’ It seems contradictory to what is written in the next line: ‘Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house.’ If he left everything behind, how could he still own a house? How grateful we may be that this is written next, for this makes clear what it, actually, means to leave everything behind. It means: Letting go of everything, not being stuck to it anymore.
Has Jesus not said that it is so hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God? The older we become, the more we become attached to all our materialistic gains. And more and more we get stuck in certain systems of thought. Leaving everything behind and following Jesus is something that is only possible if we have lost the trust in our own achievements, because the trust in Him proved to be much more worthwhile.
We do not know if Jesus had met Levi before, but when Levi heard Jesus say ‘Follow Me,’ he immediately abandoned all his own plans for the future and put his entire life in the hands of the One Who called him. That is essentially conversion: giving up all trust in the own views and ideals, and from now on doing everything Jesus says in complete submission to Him.
But this does not mean that everything entrusted to us on this world has suddenly become inferior. No, it just means that we are no longer stuck to it and gladly want to put it at His service for the coming of the kingdom of God.