Matthew the Tax Collector

MARCH 25, 2022     |      Matthew was the least expected person to be called to follow Jesus—a tax collector working for the Roman Empire and a cheat who took advantage of the Jews. He was allowed to tax anything as long as Caesar got his share. Matthew was shunned and hated by many, but not by Jesus. In fact, Jesus came to earth for sinners just like Matthew—to set them free. 

When Jesus invited Matthew to follow Him, Matthew did so immediately and then invited Jesus to a feast at his home. The feast was filled with sinners and saints all in the same room. The Pharisees came and immediately started to question why Jesus would eat and drink with sinners. They didn’t understand that Jesus came for the sick, not the well—to call not righteous people, but sinners. 

Jesus offers us the same invitation as Matthew. He is waiting for you to come to Him just as you are. Even the most unlikely people are used by God; no one is left out. When you grasp hold of Jesus’ love and sacrifice, you become a new creation, and a new life begins. 

Matthew the Tax Collector

I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.

–Luke 5:32 NLT

I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.

–Luke 5:32 NLT

Matthew was the least expected person to be called to follow Jesus—a tax collector working for the Roman Empire and a cheat who took advantage of the Jews. He was allowed to tax anything as long as Caesar got his share. Matthew was shunned and hated by many, but not by Jesus. In fact, Jesus came to earth for sinners just like Matthew—to set them free. 

When Jesus invited Matthew to follow Him, Matthew did so immediately and then invited Jesus to a feast at his home. The feast was filled with sinners and saints all in the same room. The Pharisees came and immediately started to question why Jesus would eat and drink with sinners. They didn’t understand that Jesus came for the sick, not the well—to call not righteous people, but sinners. 

Jesus offers us the same invitation as Matthew. He is waiting for you to come to Him just as you are. Even the most unlikely people are used by God; no one is left out. When you grasp hold of Jesus’ love and sacrifice, you become a new creation, and a new life begins. 

Father, Thank You for the grace you extend to me! I know I mess up a lot. Thank You for always forgiving me and loving me despite my mistakes. 

If you have never asked Jesus to come into your life and forgive your sins, you can do so right now. All you have to do is admit that you are a sinner and ask Jesus to forgive you. He is always willing; no sin is too great for Him to forgive. 

Rosemary Valentino
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