As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9
Listen: Matthew 9
Jesus saw a tax collector named Matthew and told him to follow. This seemingly mundane interaction was anything but. Because they took advantage of their neighbors, tax collectors were some of the most hated people around. While their job was to collect Roman taxes, they would take more than was required to fill their own pockets. Matthew would have been well-known and likely hated for gouging every last penny out of people. Yet Jesus befriends him and, shockingly, Matthew follows.
Matthew chose to follow Jesus even though following meant leaving behind his former life. That is why the Book of Luke says Matthew left everything. Jesus was calling him not only to follow but also to cancel his plans. Matthew’s life would never be the same.
Jesus does the same for us. He isn’t scared away by our sins, and he befriends us despite our shortfalls. Yet he calls us to follow him. Like Matthew, we can’t follow without leaving things behind. This week, we will look at what it means to have Jesus as our friend and consider how we are called by him to change. We will see his invitation to fellowship, his offer of mercy and grace, and his challenge to love people well.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Read Chapter Eight of the book, A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus today with a pen or pencil in hand. Underline/highlight things that are significant to you. Then, download the lock screen below as a reminder that Jesus is a friend of sinners.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.