Heavenly Father, you are my Maker and my God. Guide me today and give me grace to follow you.
Read Matthew 9:9–13
The Calling of Matthew
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
- Matthew 9:13 Hosea 6:6
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectReflect on your journey with Jesus. Thank him for calling you to follow him, however that happened.
This is probably the same Matthew who is universally thought to be the author of this Gospel. He was one of the 12, chosen by Jesus, but before had been employed by the occupying Romans (v 9). This would have made him unpopular. He was in a profession known for dishonesty, as tax collectors tended to syphon off funds for themselves.
But Jesus didn’t care about reputation – his, or Matthew’s. Why? Because Matthew was exactly the reason that God sent his Son into the world – to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
With a cryptic remark about healthy and sick people (vs 12,13), Jesus made it clear that he had a specific ministry. His comments hinted at the coming of God’s kingdom on earth, and that he was the Messiah – the Chosen One – the Jews were waiting for. Meanwhile, Matthew responded immediately to Jesus’ simple request. Are we too dependent on our 21st- century lifestyle? Does it hinder our response to Jesus? As I write these notes, we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Who knows what will have happened by the time you read this? What we do know, though, is that Jesus still calls us to follow him, day by day. Are you ready to respond obediently to him, whatever may be going on around you?
Use Matthew’s testimony as an opportunity to examine your priorities and re-dedicate yourself to following Jesus.
Merciful Lord, today may my life clearly demonstrate the difference you can make in a life.