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As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [a]to repentance.”
A man, Matthew ( also known as Levi) – A tax collector is sitting at a tax office
Jesus looks at him and say’s to him – Follow me
Of all the people Jesus would ask, He calls a tax collector
- They worked for the Roman government
- They were seen as traitors, they worked for the other side, the foreigners that came to take from the locals
- They were charged with a certain amount and anything over, was for their keeps
- They abused the system and only fed their mouths
- They were despised – If you ever know or read about colonization you would understand
Let’s paint a picture, you are in America today and another country comes over and takes over America, you are now required to pay taxes to them and they pretty much own you
And some of our people decide to work with these oppressive country to inflict oppression to you
And you see Jesus the one that is supposed to save them from the Romans
And you can’t help but ask, why is Jesus talking to the sinners?
I can see why the Pharisees were asking the question- What is Jesus doing
- Jesus is passing by
In Matthews life it another week, Day starts out like any other
The Bible does not tell us if Matthew had heard of Jesus before but knowing that he was powerful, it would be safe to assume so
He has his life set, but there must have been something missing on the inside
We all know that feeling when we are looking great on the outside, yet inside, there is a miss
The “thing” was not strong enough to get him up and go look for Jesus but it was enough to bring awareness that a change is necessary
He had learnt to live in this state – Afterall, he had great job, good friends, many FB friends, his Instagram was popping with luxuries and new this and the lavished life
Jesus comes by and there is a call, Matthew doesn’t know that this is what he needed but there is a stirring in his heart
We don’t know if he has been just going with the motion, if he felt caught up and there was no way out
He hears the call come and for the first time in his life, there is an opportunity to change his life
He has a choice to make, ignore the call and keep on pretending that he is complete
Or, heeds the call and let healing begin
Like some of us- We know deep inside that we are not who we ought to be, who God has called us to be
We have addictions, behaviors, places we frequent, things we look at online or in person, in a relationship that is toxic, things that we are afraid to confront
We feel like we are stuck and there is not a way out
This morning, I want let you know that Jesus is passing by
And He is speaking to you
Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
There is a doctor in the room
- He rose up and followed Jesus
For Matthew, the rich, influential man following Jesus meant the unknown
He could no longer have unlimited finances
He could not longer have class (status)
I love that Matthew transformation was immediate and he prepared a great feast for Jesus
Luke 5:29 – Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them.
Matthew 9:10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples
The text tells us many tax collectors came to the party; we can assume that this is what they did
But on this day, Matthew was celebrating a life change, it was different kind of party, one that celebrated him being that he was spiritually dead and now he was alive
He was denouncing all these friends and business opportunities to follow Jesus
He was saying, I am ok with loosing all these worldly things and gaining Jesus
Mark 8:34-36 34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
This morning, am speaking to someone, it does not benefit you in any way to gain the whole world, keep doing what you are doing …only to lose your life
Yes, there is a doctor in the room!
- It’s open season
The Bible says “as He passed by, A window of opportunity
If Matthew wasn’t paying attention, he would have missed the opportunity
There is no telling when the next time Jesus would be passing by
He recognized the opportunity – a very rare one and he rose and followed Jesus
Today is your opportunity, here in person, listing online or listening to a recording
It happens that you are at the right place and the right time to hear Jesus calling you
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Prayer and Fasting – so that I can have my heart still to hear God
Jesus is calling you from where you are “Follow me”
Be like Matthew, know that our lives are just but a breath, Here today and gone tomorrow.
We all want to matter but how much more it matters that the work we do is through Him
Matthew went from being a taker to a giver- he wrote Matthew and he continues to save lives to this day
Matthew left everything and go up to follow Jesus, left the temporary wealth, class etc and gained more that he could ever have done
Today, Now this is your call to get up and follow Jesus
Hebrews 3:15 (NLT) Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled
Isaiah 55: 6 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
Yes, there is a doctor in the room!
- What do you see?
Matthew 9:11 – And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
They didn’t dare ask Jesus so they asked the disciples
Yet Jesus answered them because He knew what they were thinking
This morning Jesus knows what you are thinking
He saw a man sitting in a tax office, He turned His head towards a place, no one wanted to look
There is no direction that God cannot look. There is no part in your heart that He can’t see
This morning, Jesus knows the struggles you are going through, the questions you have in your life, the pain that you feel, he knows the true you,
He knows all of it and He still chooses to turn to you and ask you to follow Hims
I heard a Pastor say “If you ask God to guide your steps, you have to be willing to move your legs”
Matthew did and it changed his life
A rare opportunity has just opened up. Jesus is passing by
When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
I praise God for this right here. For a long time, I walked sick, feeling an itch here and there, a cough, uneasiness in my body. Until one day Jesus came and touched me
I gave my life to Christ and I was not longer sick but living for Christ
Jesus came for you, died for you so that you may have eternal life
Its starts with acknowledging that we are all sinners and have come short of Gods Glory
To repent and turn away from our sins
To get up and walk towards Jesus – His arms is stretched out
Today I invite you to have the same transformation as Matthew and many others did
Trust in Gods ability and let Him take control
13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, [a]to repentance.”
Jesus is quoting “Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy[a] and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings”
During Hosea’s days, God people were still great at bringing sacrifices but they forsake mercy and this was because, they gave up on the knowledge of God
What do you see? A doctor, a redeemer , savior or Jesus eating with Sinners
Luke 18: 10-14 (Nkjv)10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be [a]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
- Lord have Mercy on me. You have done it over and over, please have mercy on me
- An attitude of repentance, self-awareness and reflection, does move the heart of Christ
I find it very interesting that when you want a new doctor, you have to call and see if they are accepting new patients
Sometime the wait is months away, and if you have no signs, if its for diagnostic purposes, it’s even worse.
I thank God that our Jesus doesn’t have a waiting list
- Come and lay your heavy burdens, today, right now
- Come He is calling you to come and follow Him, His arms are wide open
An infection cannot be hidden for long, eventually it will kill the infected or get treated
Don’t let is go untreated today
Is there a doctor in the room?
The answer is a resounding YES and He is accepting new and returning clients
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