I grew up playing a lot of games, which required choosing sides. With the large number of kids in our community, I always wanted to be called because, for me, being called meant:
- I was worthy of consideration.
- I had abilities.
- I was going to be in the game.
Matthew was directly called by Jesus to be a disciple. “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 (Matthew 9:9 NLT)
Jesus is calling us to be a member of His team. If you were like me, however, I did not understand or realize that Jesus had been calling me for years. What took me so long, you might wonder. Well, I refused to answer the call because:
- I thought that I was not good enough to accept His call.
- I resisted His call.
- I was afraid to accept His call.
In the simple act of calling Matthew, Jesus answers all the concerns that blocked me for so long from answering His call.
Not good enough to take His call
When Jesus called Matthew to discipleship, Matthew was engaged in one of the least desirable professions of his day, tax collecting. While we may not think we are good enough for the call, Jesus knows our true goodness. Jesus’s strong preference is to take those who are downtrodden, marginalized, and living as outcasts and convert them to His glory. In fact, shortly after Jesus called him, Matthew invited Jesus to have dinner with his fellow tax collectors and other noteworthy sinners.
Resisted His Call
When called by Jesus, Matthew instantly responded positively. Now the question is: What do we do when we are called? Are we like the Jewish priest who passed the half dead man along the road in Jesus’s story of the Good Samaritan? (Luke 10:30-37) Or will we be like the Samaritan who, despite being despised by society, answered the call by coming to the aid of a man and helping to restore him to health. Jesus calls us constantly to be of service to our neighbors, for we are called to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:29 NLT)
Afraid to Answer His call
Matthew showed no fear in responding to Jesus’s call. Jesus tells us in Luke 9:57-62 that there is a cost to accepting His call. By answering His call we must understand that we will not always be well received. We will suffer attacks by friends as well as rejection by family members. We will have setbacks in our call, but we should seek conform in what Jesus tell us in the Great Commission: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)
Jesus is calling us to be a member of His team. I hope you will take His call because anyone who is on Jesus’s team will always be on the winning side.