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Seeing JESUS: part 9

Posted: March 14, 2019 in Seeing Jesus: part 9

Jesus calls Matthew

 

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As Jesus passed by from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax collection office. He said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him.

 This is a very short testimony.!!

Jesus was walking down the street and He passed the office of a man called Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector.

Jesus said two words to Matthew.

“FOLLOW ME”

Matthew got up and followed Jesus.

He left his papers, he didn’t even tell the boss.. He just walked out of the office and never looked back and never went back to the office again. Matthew followed Jesus for three years, until Jesus died on the cross. He saw amazing things and learned how to enter and walk with God in the kingdom of heaven.

A better person?

Was Matthew a better person for following Jesus straight away?

Matthew was a sinful person like everyone else. The Holy Spirit showed him he must respond to the call of Jesus. Matthew was wise and answered that call straight away. Many people wait to hear the call another time. They put it off.

“later….”

“another day when I’m ready…”

We must answer straight away, because the call might never come again. There are people who heard the call of Jesus to follow Him, and they did not answer. They never heard the call again…

Matthew was a wide man and was willing to leave it all behind and follow Jesus.

A new life

So, that was it. He never went back to his job again. He spent the rest of his life, following Jesus, seeing the miracles, listening to teaching, and living a life of faith as he followed his Master.

What did Matthew leave behind?

Matthew became someone who actually wrote down the Scriptures, which we can read.

He was an unlikely convert because of his job, he collected taxes for the Roman authorities, who had invaded the land of Israel.

People hated tax collectors, because they hate paying taxes, and they hated the Romans even more. Tax collectors were dishonest and often used the opportunity to collect some extra cash for themselves.

We don’t know if Matthew was like this, but he probably was. Remember Zacchaeus? He was also a tax collector, and a thief. Jesus called him down from the tree and went to his house and forgave him and changed his life.

Jesus often associated with people who were not approved of.

It happened as he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. 

But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 Jesus was greatly disapproved of, by the religious leaders of His day. They used every opportunity to try to trap Him and make Him fall. They couldn’t. But this was a wonderful opportunity, because Jesus was eating and associating with sinful people. They criticized Jesus openly. Jesus replied that sick people need a doctor, but people who are well don’t.

Jesus was not saying the Pharisees were well, they certainly were not spiritually well. But the Pharisees thought, falsely, that they were right with God. Jesus was saying that He is the remedy for sin sick people. He can cure them and He will cure them. That is why He is with the “sinners” because they recognize they need a spiritual doctor, and will believe in Jesus.

He tells the Pharisees to learn this lesson. This would have offended their spiritual pride….

God wants to show us mercy and forgiveness..

Jesus shows mercy and forgiveness to these sinful people. He forgives them. Jesus does not want our self-righteous sacrifices, but hearts that will bow to Him, believe in Him, and repent.

These self-righteous Pharisees, were not repentant, but trying to impress God with their foolish sacrifices, which God hates. They think they are righteous….

The “good” people…

Jesus said He did not come for good people, but for sinful people. Thereby condemning the Pharisees with their own foolish self-righteousness.

How hard it is to come to Jesus. We don’t want to think we are too bad. We think there are some good things about us, but the good things we think of, are really just selfish and proud.

If we want to get this sorted out, we must come to Jesus when He calls us, and take our place as sinners and repent of all our evil ways. He will make us new and give us His power to live rightly.

Like Matthew?

It is for anyone who wants it.

Matthew just left his old life behind. It had no value to him anymore, because he heard Jesus calling him and was ready to go.

Have you heard the call of Jesus?

Have you responded to Him, or are you putting it off?

 Matthew had no regrets, and was able to bring his friends and colleagues at work to Jesus too. When we follow Jesus we get we get all His blessings and His power. The things we leave for His sake, don’t even matter….