The Jews were continually irritated by taxes they had to pay to Rome, a foreign nation. The tax gatherers would charge more than was required, getting rich at the expense of the people. And when a Jew, one of their own number, accepted employment by Rome to collect these taxes, he was looked on as a betrayer.
Levi-Mathew belonged to this class, and the Jewish leaders looked down on him because of his employment. But Jesus saw in Matthew a person who would respond to love and truth.
Matthew had listened to Christ’s teachings, and he wanted to learn more. The Holy Spirit convicted him of sin, and he deeply desired to get help from Christ. He was used to being ignored by the religious leaders and never thought this Great Teacher would even give him the time of day if asked.
One day while sitting at his tax booth as usual, he saw Jesus coming towards him. To his astonishment, he heard Jesus say to him, “Follow Me.” Without hesitation, Matthew eagerly left all and followed Jesus, uniting with Him in His work. He didn’t give it a second thought that he would be exchanging riches for poverty and hardship. To be with Jesus and listen to His words meant more to him than anything else in the world.
A similar thing happened when the other disciples were called. They immediately left their fishing nets and boats to follow Jesus. Later, Jesus asked them if when sent out they lacked anything, they could answer, “Nothing.” (Luke 22:35)
And today the same test given to those first disciples is given to us to be willing to leave all and follow Christ, wherever He may lead. In doing so, you will receive a blessing and be a blessing.
If you have a question for Bible Mentor Marie Odell you can contact her by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie Odell is a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
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