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.
aa Comfortable sharing a meal, tense up when it comes to sharing Jesus.
bb Jesus wants us to bring our buddies to the dinner with us.
b Church, we better learn to love the broken, outcasts, misfits, weirdos, damaged - These are the people Jesus came for.
c Matthew invited Jesus AND His disciples!
aa When you invite Jesus & get a church home, you gotta welcome us too!
Bb The church isn’t joining you... you are joining the church – You gotta whole bunch of new brothers & sisters.
II The Eyes of Religion.
A Everything Jesus said/did was picked apart/criticized by the religious folks of His day. (Pharisees) He was reproached for everything, not by the sinners, but by good Church folks.
1 The Pharisees were a proud generation, conceited of themselves, critical of others.
a They made a very strict way of living for themselves by...
aa They were big on tradition for traditions sake, ritual, rigid system of following the law.
bb Avoided the company of sinners of every shape & size.
cc “What kind of man rubs elbows & eats with drunkards, hookers, & extortionists?” Jesus!
b In the eyes of the Pharisees, Jesus was wrong for being friendly with people who weren’t bible believing/righteous.
aa So they went to Jesus’ disciples, because they had a problem with Jesus. (They didn’t have guts to go to Jesus Himself!)
Matthew 9:11 (NASB) 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?"
bb By the Pharisees going to the disciples it’s obvious they wanted to cause division in Jesus’ ministry.