9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
Jesus has had a public ministry. He has gained the attention of all. On this particular day Jesus waked past a tax collector named Matthew. What do we know about tax collectors? They were Jews who worked for the Romans collecting taxes from their own people to give to the Roman emperor. Because of their job, the tax collectors were disrespected by their Jewish brothers. Do you find it interesting that Jesus called someone in the margin of society? Or do you find it more interesting that Jesus knew the heart of this tax collector and called him based on who he was not on what he did?
We don’t know anything about Matthew before this time but we know that later, after the ascension of Jesus, Matthew wrote the first record of the birth and life and death of the Savior. But on that day of his call, no one expected anything out of this traitor of a man who worked for the enemy as a tax collector.
Notice with me that when Jesus called Matthew to follow him, that Matthew did just that, “he rose and followed Him.” Immediately we see the heart of Matthew as one who wanted to follow Christ and was ready when he was called. Matthew never went back to his profession but changed it totally to become a follower of Jesus.
Jesus is still calling people today to follow him. He does not call all people to leave their profession but he does call us to follow Him. What have you done with the call of Jesus in your life? Have you followed Him? Jesus did not give Matthew a contract but just called him. When Jesus calls us to follow Him we don’t get a contract from him either, we are to follow Him as Matthew did, by faith in His call.
A final thought from Matthew is this; Matthew changed direction to follow Christ. Every call to follow Christ is a call to change directions. Here is where people struggle with Christianity; while people want eternal life, they don’t want a changed life. Eternal life and a discipled life go hand in hand. All who receive eternal life receive the call to follow Christ with a changed life. Matthew understood this.
Church work can be interesting. Last week we had three teenagers show up, last night we had thirteen. Both weeks were good times of fun and Bible study. Pray for our teens. I am working through a series on the life of Joseph entitled, “Living with Pain.” Several of our teens know what pain is and live with it all the time. Pray that these lessons will give them encouragement to trust God with all parts of their lives.
Men, we have a prayer breakfast this Saturday morning and then we have our missions conference beginning Saturday night. We will be ministered to and hear reports of the Kashininkovs, the Davis’s, the Massey’s, and Yashito Kato. You won’t want to miss Saturday night or Sunday morning. Lunch Sunday will be an international dinner with people bringing food from different nationalities for us to enjoy. Be sure and bring your kids to hear these men and women as your kids need to be challenged with missions.
Have a great day in the Lord,