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Jesus was not lengthy in His call of the disciples.

In Matthew 9:9-12 we read of Matthew’s call to be a disciple. It was short, to the point and was met by a willing heart rather than excuses as to why he wouldn’t be good for the job. In fact, the impact on Matthew was immediate and extensive. The text says, “Matthew got up and followed him.” (NIV) We read nothing about wrapping things up at the tax collecting booth or giving two weeks notice. His following was as quick as the call. Jesus called and Matthew followed. Yet, the extent of the impact on Matthew is seen by the fact he then invites some of his colleagues (other tax collectors and sinners) to have dinner with Jesus, which He didn’t refuse. Why would He? He had a room full of people who needed Him.

As a tax collector, he was looked down upon by the religious leaders of the day and likely the majority of society as well. Quite possibly he had been crooked in his dealings with others, maybe in a similar way to that of another tax collector by the name of Zacchaeus. But, what is so striking about Matthew’s call is the fact that Jesus didn’t care about his past because he was about to give this tax collector a new future. Jesus is not worried by the things we have done in the past; He is concerned with the future He wants to give you.

Most of us get stuck on our past and sometimes even IN our past, so much so that we fail to be impacted by the call of Christ to bring Him to others. Matthew receives the call to follow Jesus and understands that Jesus is meant to be shared with others, not simply reserved for the last part of our weekend for a select group of people gathering on a Sunday morning in a church service. Jesus said it best, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (NIV)

The question is, how are we following Him? In our society, many encourage Christians to get involved politically and somehow make a difference that way. I firmly believe that since we are given the right to vote, we ought to use it to the fullest extent of our convictions, but Jesus didn’t come to be a vehicle for politics in the church. He came to change lives and give people the hope of eternal life. Are we following Him in a way that impacts people’s lives? Matthew’s life changed that day because he heard the call of Christ, responded and then began pointing others to Him.