Following Jesus 37
As we examine the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, we now begin to view the second group of four. Following Philip and Nathanael is Matthew. How are followers of Jesus today like Matthew? Let’s begin by looking at some facts regarding the disciple Matthew, who was also known as Levi.
There are three biblical accounts of Matthew’s conversion. They are found in Matthew 9:9-13, Mark 2:14-17 and Luke 5:27-32. It is Matthew’s own personal account that we will consider.
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:9-13 ESV).
How are followers of Jesus today like Matthew? First of all like Matthew, followers of Jesus are individuals who God calls into a covenant relationship in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Like Matthew, they are persons who introduces their friends to Jesus Christ. Vs. 10. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. (Matthew 9:10 ESV).
Matthew decided to throw a party. Mark 2:14-17 tells us that the house belonged to Matthew (Levi). Luke 5:27-32 tells us that Matthew (Levi) prepared a great feast in his house for Jesus and His disciples. Matthew wanted his friends to come and meet Jesus. Who were Matthew’s friends? Tax collectors and sinners.
The social outcasts were reclining with Jesus and His disciples. They were personally and continually eating with Jesus and His followers. By doing so, Jesus was in fact accepting these many individuals who were unacceptable to the religious hypocrites of the day.
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