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Follow Me

Wednesday, February 14th
Follow Me
By: Pastor Shane

Matthew 9:1-17

9 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”

15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

 We desire comfort. Comfort food, soft bedding, anything that will enhance our day-to-day living, things that make life more pleasant. For me, comfort also comes from my ability to provide for my family. My relationships in the workplace and the expected rhythm of my daily schedule. If I can be honest, being in control brings me comfort! However, what happens when God calls us to something out of our comfort zone? How does the heart feel when God calls us into the unknown? What is our response when Jesus calls out, “Follow Me” (v9).

Let’s “up the ante” a bit. Place yourself in Matthew’s shoes. Compared to the other trade fishermen, who could more than likely return to that trade if it “did not work out,” Matthew would likely not have the same option. Nevertheless, Matthew got up and followed him. Like Matthew, sometimes God calls us to step out of the comfort of the tax booth! We are called to explore the unfamiliar and let go of the comfort areas that keep us from trusting the invitation to follow.

Friends, when your hearts are consecrated, and there is evidence of God’s nudging in your life, do not let the comforts of the world around you be your worship. Remember that your logic does not always align with God’s plan, and we may not have all the details of tomorrow. However, when God calls you, and you follow, there will be fruit. We do not know what happened to those who attended Matthew’s dinner party (V9:10). Scripture does not give us a “where are they now” closing. Nonetheless, many sat with Jesus and the disciples on this day, deepening their relationships through a meal, all because Matthew decided to leave his comfort zone and follow.

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