Summary: Just as Jesus’ disciples were put on the spot by the Pharisees, the day will come when you must speak for your Savior.
Who You Gonna Call? Lent Series Pt 2 March, 23, 2014
I Eyes of Reality
A Truth be told then...
1 Matthew, who also went by Levi, was seen by people as an extortionist & sellout because he was a tax-collector.
a The Romans occupied Israel, collected taxes from the citizens.
aa Tax collectors were required to receive a specific amount for a tax to honor Rome - The tax collector took it & their service fee.
bb Nobody liked the tax man. (Seen as traitor/gangster)
cc Not even allowed in the Synagoges/Temple.
b Matt worked at Capernaum, had heard of or possibly seen Jesus minister, heard His messages... So when Jesus said to him, “Follow me” he had already probably been exposed to the good news.
c Luke & Mark fill in some of the blanks to the story...
aa The house they went to eat at belonged to Matthew (Levi) the food was provided by him.
bb Matthew has invited his fellow tax collectors, sinners, to come & meet Jesus, the man with the message who changed his life.
2 Matthew’s friends were men of no reputation too.
a These men & possibly women (prostitutes) were seen as hooligans, roughiens, names seen on the police report.
b These were the people who were not allowed on the church grounds.
aa Matthew knew the temptation these outcasts endured, he’d been one of these guys.
bb He also knew what grace could do for a sinner!
cc Grace never eats alone, it invites others.
3 I believe Jesus called Matthew for a purpose - one of which was to introduce Him to his lost buddies.
a Jesus is at ease with the tax collectors/sinners.
aa Eating/drinking with others meant intimacy/familiarity.
bb These are the people Jesus came to save!
b He didn’t see these folks as disposable, but as diseased.
aa The disease was sin: a deforming, degenerative, wasting disease of the Spirit - but it’s curable!
bb Jesus is the great physicians of our Spirit - healing in His wings!
c These folks are just sick - they’re dead in their sin.
aa Man/time can’t/won’t heal their disease - they needed a healer - they needed Jesus.
bb Without Him, they are eternally undone.
B Truth be told now...
1 When Jesus called us... we must move immediately.
a Matthew didn’t turn in a 2 week notice, sleep on Jesus’ calling, confer with flesh & blood - never again do we see Matthew taking taxes.
b When Jesus calls us/speaks to us, we should respond with a quickness.
aa He’d saying the same thing to each of us that He said to Matthew, “Follow me!”
bb “I’m pretty rotten, checkered past... does He really want me?”
cc He desires none to perish.
2 Peter 3:9 (NASB) 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 He’s wanting us to invite our diseased friends to come to meet the same Jesus that cured us!
a We’ll invite out buddies to ball games, pay off, shopping, out to eat... we’ll never ask them to come to church.