The Grand Invitation -- Follow ME

Texts: Matthew 9:9-13 / Mark 2:14-17 / Luke 5:27-32


Matthew the Tax Collector

Tax collection in the Roman Empire was a lucrative job.

Tax collectors collaborated with the occupying Roman Army.

Tax collectors got the job by offering to raise the most money.

They paid the Roman government up-front for the

right to collect taxes.

Then they required the taxes from the people to

reimburse themselves.

They routinely swindled others to enrich them-

selves beyond what they had paid.

Therefore:

Tax collectors were disliked, despised, and

shunned by their countrymen.


The Unexpected Invitation

Jesus saw Matthew sitting in the tax collector booth

Toll booths were set up on well travelled thoroughfares.

A tax or fee was charged by the Romans to travel the road.

Everyone who passed by would need to pay the tax.

Jesus interrupted Matthew and invited him to “follow Me.”

At this point Jesus had gained a level of notoriety.

Matthew likely had a good idea of who Jesus was and what He was teaching.


The Personal Response

Matthew got up and followed Him.

He left “money on the table.”

He walked away from a lucrative business.

Then Matthew threw a reception to introduce Jesus to

his friends.

Many sinners and tax collectors gathered to dine

with Jesus & His disciples.

Eating together was a sign of friendship


The Biblical Truths

You cannot Be As You Were and follow Jesus:

Submit your behavior

You cannot STAY AS YOU ARE and follow Jesus:

Surrender your will


YOUR PAST DOES NOT DEFINE YOUR FUTURE

IF you Follow Jesus


(Matthew went on to write the story as we know it

in the gospel account called by his name.)