I had the opportunity to hear Pastor Don Denyes, of South Baptist Church in Lansing, MI, speak on Matthew 9:9-10.
As Jesus was going down the road, he saw Matthew sitting at his tax-collection booth. “Come, be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.
That night Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. (New Living Translation)
Pastor Denyes took these two verses and came out with some interesting insights on Jesus.
1. Jesus was comfortable around non-believers.
So many times we get caught up in our Christian circles and we lose contact with the world. God calls all Jesus Followers to what Pastor Denyes called, “careful infiltration” of our world. It is not wholesale assimilation nor is complete withdrawal from the world. We need to connect with those in our world who need to hear from Jesus, but we also need to seek support and guidance from those in the church that we can trust.
2. Jesus was more concerned for people than His reputation.
This is pretty evident from verse 10. Jesus was hanging out with the low lifes of his day. And not just hanging out with them, sharing a meal with them. This was scandalous. A “religious” jew in 1st century Israel would not be caught dead sharing a meal with such people. But Jesus did not care what the “religious” elite of that day thought.
3. Jesus was committed to His mission.
Jesus came to “seek and save the lost” and that is exactly what He did. Because He was in constant communication with His Father, Jesus was able to keep His focus. Jesus never lost sight of why He was here. He never got caught up in meaningless discussion over trivial things. He never lost sight of the fact that “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. (verse 12).”
In order to be a better Jesus Follower, I would commit to the following:
1. Never overlook an opportunity to share the Hope that you have in you.
2. Do not isolate yourself from those Christ has called you to reach out to.
3. If God is calling you to do something, who cares what other people think.
4. Don’t forget what God has called you to, give Him control and hang on…