Summary: A message that deals with the most important call of all - the call to salvation!
“The Call That Changes All”
This morning I want to share something with you that’s very dear to the heart of God. As a matter of fact, it’s a message that He wants everyone here to listen to very carefully. It’s a message He wants everyone in this sanctuary to respond to. It deals with a calling. It deals with a call from God. Now, this may be a call that you are familiar with. You may have heard this call. You may have thought about this call and you may have ignored or put off the call. But it’s not just a call. The call I’m talking about is the most important call that there is. It’s the call to salvation!
Turn if you will, to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 9. We’re going to be looking at verses 9-13. While you’re turning there, let me remind us that when we read from the word of God, we’re reading the truth that God has revealed to us straight from His Holy Spirit to our hearts and that the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. These aren’t just words, they’re words that cut deep and as a result of that, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).”
With that said, let’s look at Matthew chapter 9, verses 9-13. I’ve entitled this morning’s message, “The Call that Changes All” (Read/Pray).
This is one of the most heart-warming and touching scenes in all of the word of God. It deals with a personal testimony. It’s Matthew’s personal testimony. Imagine his sitting and writing about so many other experiences in other people’s lives throughout his Gospel. Now it comes to his own personal experience. Well, what do we know about Matthew? Not just a whole lot, to tell you the truth. We know that he was a tax collector, a publican. That says a lot about him right there. That’s enough to tell us that he was a person who was hated by everyone, especially his own countrymen. Here’s the reason why, tax collectors were mostly Jewish people who were doing the Romans dirty work for them. So they were looked upon as traitors.
I mean, they were collecting taxes for a conquering nation, for crying out loud. As you can imagine they were bitterly opposed, and they were so detested they were classified with the lowest of the low. Luke 15 verse 1 puts tax collectors and sinners in the same group. Prostitutes had a higher social status than them. That’s how much these guys were thought of. But you know what else made people hate the tax collector? Most of them were pretty well off while everybody else scraped just to get by. In a way they were working for themselves, so they could collect whatever someone was willing to pay and pocket all the extra for themselves. All the Romans wanted was what was required. But the tax collector thought, “Well, I might as well profit a little out of this deal.” So the people were taken advantage of.
As a result of this extortion, many of the tax collectors had a large house big enough to have a huge crowd for a banquet or a feast. You can imagine what kind of characters these guys were. They usually were very immoral people, unfair, money-hungry and worldly-minded. They cared about things. They didn’t care about people. And so was the life of a tax collector. In verses 9-13 there are 3 things I want to point out this morning and the first thing I want us to see is,