Jesus’ words (Matthew 9:9) can sound so curt, but Matthew couldn’t refuse the invitation—or the other invitations that Jesus would give him throughout his life. At first, it was an invitation to receive Jesus’ mercy and a new life.
Then, it grew into a call to change his old life through repentance and obedience. From there, it became a call to go out to the people of Israel and do the very things Jesus was doing (Matthew 10). Then, it became a call to witness Jesus’ arrest, passion, and death. Then, after Pentecost, the call grew to include a command to love his brothers and sisters in the church and to build the kingdom of God—even if that meant persecution and martyrdom.
And to think, it all began with one simple invitation to leave his tax office and follow Jesus.
Conviction and Commitment. Scripture doesn’t give us the details, but we can be sure that Matthew’s commitment to Jesus matured over time. His initial decision to become a disciple was a dramatic one, but it was…
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