When He calls you to follow
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:9-13
From the text, the Lord Jesus Christ called Matthew to be His follower. The phrase “Follow me” was Jesus favorite words of invitation. The phrase was used in the four Gospels more than twelve times. It was used as a command or a description of what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. When a person surrenders his or her life to Christ, he or she is expected to follow Him. There is an expectation of belief and trust to the one to whom Jesus calls to be His disciple. You do not know where He will lead you but He expects you that once He calls you, you will obey. The phrase “follow me” is always in the present tense. It means that the command to follow must be done not later but immediately. The reason a believer in Christ will follow because their relationship with Him is not based on ideology but a realization that He now has a claim to his or her life. “For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20). When God calls you to follow Him, you must let go of your old sinful lifestyle and take the new life He gives you. This is what Matthew did. He gave up his life of comfort and profitable job as tax collector. Being a tax collector then was considered as “disreputable.” In fact the Lord Jesus Christ was accused by the Pharisees as hanging out with the “scum” when he was having dinner with Matthew and other sinners. Yet Matthew expressed his faith to Jesus when he left everything so he could follow Jesus. Following the Lord Jesus Christ is part of your spiritual journey while here on earth. There will always be a temptation to resist His call to follow because there is unwillingness to fully trust Him in what He is asking you to do. Difficult it may be but this is the direction God wants you to take. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Today, where is God leading you?