Matthew was sitting at his tax collector booth, taking up the tax money, and likely gathering a bit more for himself, when Jesus and His disciples came by.
Jesus paused long enough to look at Matthew and say, "Follow me."
That isn't the most compelling invitation I've ever heard, but it was enough for Matthew. He got up, left his tax collector booth, and his steady stream of income, and followed Jesus.
Matthew wasn't collecting money hand-over-fist with a happy, contented heart before he walked away from it. That's not how people make life-altering decisions. If you've ever made a major life change, you know. First there's dissatisfaction, discontent. It grows, and you begin to consider your options. You ponder what else you could do. Eventually, you realize a change is imperative.
When the change you think you've been looking for comes along, you take it.
As a physician, there was more than one night on call when my fellow physicians and I, weary beyond words, would talk about what we would become if we could just leave medicine. Painter. Writer. Long-haul truck driver. Pizza maker. Most of them stayed. I didn't.
It's likely Matthew had been doing some soul-searching before Jesus called Him. He'd heard of Jesus, probably seen Him walk by with His disciples. That group of friends, laughing together as they walked along, must have been very attractive to a man who was an outcast because of his job.
Before the call came, Matthew probably looked just the same to those who knew him, but Jesus knew. Matthew was ripe for change. He was ready.
How many people we meet every day are dissatisfied and ready for a change, ready to respond to the call of Jesus? Probably more than we think.
How many of those discontented people are watching those who claim to be Christians to see if we have something attractive to offer? Again, probably more than we think.
Judging by the response to the election over the last day or so, there are unhappy, discontented people all around us, both in and out of the body of Christ.
I have good news. We don't have to stay discontented, because Jesus is calling to all of us, and He's still King, no matter who is president. When we follow Him, it won't always be easy, but it can bring a precious kind of contentment, regardless of our circumstances.
Today, let's choose to live as if we have something wonderful to share because, in Jesus, we do. Let's offer a ready smile, a kind word, a helping hand. When the opportunity arises, let's share the good news of a risen Savior who cares about us, loves us, and is coming back to take us home.
You never know who's been waiting for someone to say, Come. Follow Jesus."
And Jesus said to him, "Follow Me." And he rose, and followed Him. Matthew 9:9 nasb
the photo above is of a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee
In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: We Have a New President. Now What?
If you'd like to help support this ministry outreach, here's the link to give: Global Outreach Acct 4841