And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. Matthew 9:9-10
When Jesus called his Apostles, what was he looking for? Christ wasn’t looking for theological knowledge, otherwise he would have called some Pharisees or Sauducees, no Jesus called on regular people, fishermen and tax collectors like Matthew. What qualities are Jesus looking for? Faithfulness, obedience, humble, ect these are qualities you don’t need a Master degree to obtain. To understand the amazement of God’s calling to become Born Again, we need to understand who Christs disciples were and what they accomplished because they followed The Lord
Today we look at Matthew, a tax collector, now that might not seem like a big deal to be a Jewish tax collector but when your understand what Matthew was really a part of , you could say he was the chief of all sinners. Think about it a Jewish man working for the evil oppressive Roman government enslaving his own people in poverty and persecution. Now when you put it that way, yeah it sounds really bad because it was. Matthews conversion to Christianity was just as miraculous as Pauls , I’m sure when most Jews saw Matthew with Christ and his Jewish disciples, they probably cringed or doubted the authenticity of Matthew
Notice it lists the “publicans” or tax collectors with sinners. The tax collectors , like Matthew, were the scum of the Earth. List the tax collectors with the prostitutes and lepers, these are the outcasts, these are the outsiders, however Jesus is going to call them and make them fishers of Men
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:11-13
The religious leaders wanted to know “Why does this Holy man eat with sinners”! Jesus said “He didn’t come for the righteous but to bring sinners to repentance” The Great Physician came to fix some souls, Christ didn’t come for the 99 , he came for the lost sheep to bring them home to our Heavenly Father
When Jesus called Matthew, it said “He arose and followed him” Matthew immediately answered the calling, He didn’t say I’ll get back to you or check his options, when Christ said Follow me, Matthew followed him, that was his main qualification, faith and obedience. The rest is history including this gospel which Matthew recorded for our edification and learning
Is Jesus calling you today? Get up and follow him, don’t worry about your past or don’t worry about your qualifications, The Lord will make you Born Again and a Fisher of Men, Amen!