Matt. 9:9-13 – Jesus & Matthew’s Friends
Matthew is busy at work, at his place of business and Jesus comes along and calls him to follow him (leave his business) and Matthew does it. Unlike the “rich man” (Matt 19:16ff), Matthew just up and leaves his booth. Those of us who are about the “income” might be amazed that he’d just up and leave his post. There’s a lot here to meditate on. Jesus calls and Matthew follows. That means something.
But more than that, Matthew invites Jesus into his home and Jesus accepts and they have a big party. There’s something amazing about Jesus’ interaction with these “sinners” that those of us who have chosen to follow the Master seem to forget when we become his disciples. I’m reminded of the phrase “in the world, but not of it.” Now some might contend that this was a special “feature” of Jesus’ ministry that he didn’t follow the common practice that a religious leader (teacher) should lead by living a life completely separate from those socially considered “unclean.” Jesus’ call is to minister to those who are not religious. I’m amazed that regardless of our own personal history there is such a human tendancy, in the course of cleaning up one’s “act,” to distance ourselves from our former life and look down on those we used to associate with. I would call that a case of losing one’s “humanity” in the course of turning to the Lord. For me, following the Lord should engender more compassion with those around us, not more isolation. That’s the example that I see in Jesus’ life.
In other news, I’m a bit excited because I’ve finally “bit the bullet” and ordered a Bible studies series that runs natively on my Macintosh. It was quite an investment, bu8t I’m really looking forward to expanding my studies a bit beyond where I’ve been of late (because the software I’m using runs so horribly slowly in it’s PC emulation window on the Mac). It’s amazing the silly things that put a smile on my face these days. JBB 5/5/04
Current Music: Your Love Broke Through – Keith Green – For Him Who Has Ears To Hear