Pentecost 2

Jesus saw a man named Matthew who was sitting at the tax office. Jesus just said to him ‘Follow me’ and Matthew got up and followed Him.

What can we learn from this? The problem with many of us is we haven’t even just got up yet, much less we are not following Jesus.

Jesus empowers us to come, follow Him, but we have to get up and start moving as Matthew did so long ago. William Barclay says in his commentary on Matthew, ”that no [one] ever had such faith in possibilities of human nature as Jesus did”. He saw something in the face of this one called God’s gift that others could not see. Jesus saw one who would get up and follow Him.

By his attitude toward the tax collectors – who betrayed their own people and religion by collaborating with the Roman empire – Jesus showed that God’s covenant of grace extends to all people, not just righteous. His message was that God would welcome the repentant and humble tax collector, while He would challenge the arrogant Pharisees. His mission was to bring sinners like the tax collectors of his day into God’s presence. Now what did Matthew do after his call?   He was so happy that he threw a party. He invited all his tax collector friends and all the sinners to come and meet Jesus. Matthew wanted to bring other people into Christ’s presence as soon as possible.

We need to note he did not try to convert others by bright logic or clever words. No, he bought them to meet Jesus personally. This is what many of us need today. We need a deeper personal relationship with Jesus for healing like Matthew.

Trevor Marshall
Lay Preacher
Ulverstone Uniting Church