Maybe many of you are just like me, who grew up with the famous Matthew in mind. Matthew was one of Jesus’ disciples who wrote the book of Matthew in the New Testament. However, Matthew, the disciple of Jesus, is not a pretty figure during the time of Jesus.
Yes, Matthew is not a name to be mentioned and talked about. Why, because he’s working for the oppressors of God’s people. He chose to serve the enemies of God’s people instead of God. He is working as a tax collector for the Roman government. The tax collector ‘s position is categorized with the prostitute and the sinners. The name also is known to relate with abuse. Matthew is one of the shame of society.
Are you seeing yourself? Or you might not? Let’s continue, Matthew’s life was not an easy one. How do you think Matthew feels every day when he goes to work and nobody notices him, not even a stranger, not a friend, nor his family? (Just because he made a decision that goes against what is acceptable not considering what people might think about him.) Matthew was treated without any good value, poor Matthew. It was obvious Matthew feels the animosity every day. He is nothing but a traitor of God’s people.
But one day a miracle happened, someone noticed Matthew and showed kindness to him, Mark 2:13-17 records the calling of Matthew. On that special day, Jesus saw Matthew at his booth. Jesus saw the animosity of His countrymen. It was a moment when men saw betrayal, Jesus saw a gift. Jesus saw his recording gift. After all, why would he qualify for the tax collector job? He is keen numbers, too, I suppose as He handles money at the booth. Jesus saw Mathew as faithful and dedicated to his work. Jesus saw His heart fit to be a student to record God’s story.
When Matthew looked at the teacher, the man performing miracles. And when the teacher told him, “Follow Me.” Matthew without a gasp of wavering left his post with joy and followed Jesus.
Finally, Someone, a great teacher paid attention to him and talked to Him. The teacher must be a different man, Matthew thought. Finally, someone thought he could be a good company. (It was more than a company, Matthew. It was for a mission that God created you to fulfill. Your worth beyond your best decision.)
There is something more to who you are than who you are now.
It needed a celebration, it was a history of Matthew’s life. Finally, people could come and eat at his house. A fine dining, indeed. Matthew can offer a very fine dining, after all he has some earnings.
But the story did not end there because the jealous Pharisees saw Jesus eating with a tax collector, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Oh wow, what do you think Jesus did. Mark 2:17, “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
What a striking answer, it was like excuse me, I beg your pardon. I did not come for the righteous who are already okay, I come exactly for Matthew, the sinner.
Friends, today, God says to you, I come exactly for you.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT SO PRETTY AT ALL, JESUS SAYS, “I COME EXACTLY JUST FOR YOU!”