He is a man that could be a reflection of our hearts. A man lingering by sin’s bosom for so long, yet rescued by the Great Savior. Swimming and enjoying in the mire of sin, yet had felt the emptiness within.
He saw the Great Light which salvaged him from the dark. His name is Matthew. You may also call him Levi. In the eyes of ancient Israel, he is a deceiver, a thief, a traitor because he is a tax collector.
In Matthew 9:9, faith came to a wretched sinner by hearing only two words, “Follow me.” Simple, yet powerful. Matthew could have been one of the wealthiest man in his time, but in that moment, he was the emptiest and the most miserable. Yet, two words meant so much for him.
Who could have ever changed his life? There He comes, amazing Jesus, amazing grace. Two words changed his life. Two words dragged him out from his Sodom. Two words, only two words.
His response was dramatic. “He got up, and followed him.” He not only stood up, he left his job. He left the most lucrative, the quickest way to get rich, the biggest paycheck in order to follow a man from a remote province. He “left the receipt of the custom.”
Why such response? Well, he lived his life in selfish acquisition of money. He lived for so long in corruption, deceit and dirty politics. Trickery was his game. The system and connections he had with the Romans brought him much power and wealth. For many years, selfishness ruled his heart. Hungry for power, thirsty for gain, yet empty. He lived the “Roman dream.” He so believed the philosophy that “when money talks, everybody listens.” He wanted to be listened. He longed for acceptance, attention, belongingness and satisfaction. He thought he could get it from money and power. He thought he was on the way to true success. But it was just his thought. He realized, it’s lonely up there. There’s nothing up there. Nothing at the top, nor in this world could satisfy him. You could own the whole world and be the richest, yet your soul is so empty.
When these realizations came to him, that’s when the two words came to his ears from the mouth of the Blessed Lord. By then he left the power he has, because he has found the greater Power. People are afraid to follow Christ because the heart says, “I am afraid to lose my support when I follow God.” Man is afraid to be disconnected from his elite connections, politics, supporters and friends when following Christ is concerned. But for Matthew, the worldly pulls did not prevail. Grace had compassion for him that made him forever changed.
By then, he was dragged by the Cosmic Pull. He left that’s all behind him and followed Him. The One who made him complete. The One who satisfied him and filled the vacuum in him.
Those words are still being spoken to you today. Jesus is calling you. He wants you to follow Him and make Him the Lord of your life. As for Matthew, that was his salvation. He did not ask, “what will God do to me if I follow Him?” He never questioned when Jesus told him to follow. He never looked back, he never hesitated.
If Jesus will stand in front of you today, what thoughts will be in your mind? If you are in a powerful position that drags you away from following Jesus, how is your heart’s response when He comes to you and says, “Follow me.”
We don’t know where the Spirit may lead us, just follow.
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