“As he walked along, he saw a tax collector, Matthew, son of Alphaeus, also called Levi, sitting at a place where people pay taxes. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said” (Eyewitness Matthew 9:10).
Eyewitness: p. 56
In Your Bible: Matthew 9:9,10
The word “command” implies to direct, instruct, give an order, or imposition of a task, duty, or responsibility. Jesus speaks to us as well as The Twelve he started with. He speaks to mankind with a command – he doesn’t need to plead. He’s gentle, meek, yet God all powerful and incarnate. Why do we balk and take so long to grasp this?
Many who encountered Jesus became followers. The first Twelve got hands-on training and teaching, saw miracles, and observed people receive God’s compassion.
God did this in the Old Testament times – He commanded the creation process (Genesis 1:1-31). But he did not live among them and teach them daily face to face. He used Abraham, Isaac, Joshua, and King David to list a few. God taught his Law, statutes, and expectations on how to live, do good and confront evil.
Living for God – Kingdom Living – is a theme Jesus dwells on throughout the Gospels. We may claim we cannot understand it. But more often we just don’t want to exchange our culture – what we’re doing – for Kingdom Living. It takes time for the concept to sink into our spirit and allow our thinking to be spiritually focused/Bible focused.
Jesus Dining With Matthew
Jesus told the Pharisees and teachers of the Law truth but they didn’t understand it. When they saw Jesus eat with Matthew and outcasts, they were sure he made a mistake. They observed his teaching and living, they knew he was a righteous man. They asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such people?” (Eyewitness Matthew 9:11).
Even though what the Pharisees and teachers said wasn’t spoken to him, Jesus heard it. He replied to them, go learn what the prophet [Hosea] said, “I wanted to show you love, not make sacrifices–to know God, not make burnt offerings.” He goes on to say, “I have not come to invite repentance to those who think they are righteous. I have come for those who know they are sinners” (Hosea 6:6).
Jesus speaks to everyone, but when minds are closed, only the heart can be reached – through the Spirit of God. The searing truth remains, God’s love can overcome any barrier.
Application: We must understand our culture is not an excuse to sin. As followers of Jesus we must reach for the Kingdom of God in righteous living – Kingdom Living. Yes, you belong to Jesus……Live for him.
Prayer: Father, thank you for providing a way to remove my sin, stay close to you by your love through Jesus – then begin Kingdom Lifestyle. I want to obey and follow you.