Summary: Matthew recalls the day that Jesus called him to be a disciple. The majority of the sermon is a flashback to that day, where he wonders "Why me, what is so special about me?"
I want to thank you folks for allowing to come and speak with you today. I want to share with you a story that is very important to me. This story is about an extraordinary day that changed my life forever.
It was just another day like any other, nothing really special about that day. Got up ate the same breakfast I always did and went to work, nothing really different from any other day. It was the same old same old, working hard for the man. In other words I was making myself a pile just like every other day. You know, being a tax collector is a pretty good gig, if you don’t let people get to you. The money’s good, hours are pretty good.
The one thing I can honestly say that I don’t like about the job, is that it is hard to have friends as a tax collector. I mean who wants to admit they are buddies with an IRS agent. Because it seems most people just don’t like us tax collectors for some reason. I don’t know why they don’t like us, we have got to make a living. It’s not our fault that the highlife cost so much. But people just don’t seem to like us. Particularly those holy guys, they seem to think we are all dirty rotten cheats. Just because we collect money for a foreign government and charge a 100% convenience fee so they don’t have to go all the way to Rome to pay their taxes. We are making their lives easier. But those holy guys don’t give us much of a break. It’s always sinner this, sinner that. They are always looking down their noses at us. It kinda hurts. But it has been something I have grown to expect.
Which is why, I was completely caught off guard that day. I was just sitting there with my feet up minding my own business when to my surprise. The wandering preacher from Galilee came up to my office. I was really surprised to see him coming up to me, because everybody had been talking about him, calling him a great prophet. So when I saw him coming I thought I was going to end up being his example of the scum of the earth in his next sermon. So, you can guess I was pretty surprised when he came up to me saying, “come, follow me”.
I was so intrigued by his manner I couldn’t help but get and follow him. He made me so curious I couldn’t just sit there I had to get up. And so I followed him. All the while, I was wondering.
Why did Jesus come up to me and tell me to follow him? I couldn’t understand it, normally these holy men types prefer to keep their distance and rant against people like me. So why did this prophet come to me? Why did he call me to follow him? Would Jesus rather have somebody less objectionable than me to follow after him? You’d think he would be afraid hanging around me would make him look bad. I wouldn’t think having a tax collector like me hanging around would be all that great for his image. I wonder if when he called me that day if he slipped in the rating polls. I mean think about it, He a holy man associating with me an outcast. I was truly surprised that he came to me because all the other holy me were perfectly happy to ignore me. So why did he pick me that day. Of all people why me?
Well even though I didn’t understand why Jesus came to me. I was still very honored when I realized I wasn’t going to be his example of what not to be. So, I decided to invite all my friends to come and meet this prophet who didn’t shun me. I threw quite the party and everybody was there. All my friends showed up and Jesus and all of his close disciples were there. It was a wonderful dinner. The roast lamb was simply delightful and the wine was an excellent vintage. We were having a wonderful time. The only thing I wish had happen that night was that all the Pharisees who were always sniffing around behind Jesus had just done their usual and stayed away from my place. Granted they didn’t actually invite themselves to my party. But they did hang around at the windows like a bunch of nosy gossips, because they just couldn’t bear to lower themselves to try and step foot into my house, the house of a sinner. Oh no couldn’t have that. So they hung around outside like a pack of hungry dogs. But I couldn’t complain at least they didn’t cause any trouble during dinner. Unfortunately, that changed when we moved out into the courtyard to enjoy brandy and cigars. Now the Pharisees had a chance to talk to some of the guest. While I was mingling with my friends playing the proper host I noticed that some of the Pharisees had managed to corner a few of Jesus’ disciples. When one of the Pharisees sneered rather loudly “Why does your teacher sit and eat with sinners and the dregs of society?”