Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Notes to the Lord

Scripture Reflection Matthew 9:9-13
9As 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.

Lord Jesus--I wonder how Matthew ended up as a tax-collector. I will bet that in the beginning it seemed like another one of those “good ideas.” “I like numbers, I am accurate and precise, I have a good work ethic and I am a good negotiator.” All that and more might have been going through Matthew mind. After all he had been passed up by every rabbi for training beyond the basics…why not?

Then You called him. What did You see in him…the good work ethic, precision and accuracy? Did you see the heart open to God even though he had earned the disrespect of his fellow countrymen for being a sell out to the Roman’s? Whatever You saw, You called him to a new venture or maybe better an adventure of a life time.

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

Lord Jesus--Questions by the Pharisees, I wonder why they cared. Were they the review committee for the local ministerial organization for Rabbis? Miracles tend to create a stir, it must have been very disconcerting for them not to have input into the most exciting thing that had happened spiritually in a long time. After all, their lives, they thought, were committed to the spiritual quest.

So where does that put me? Are there times when I just don’t get it too? When even though I see the miracles I don’t understand them and can’t seem to connect the dots. The scary thing is that these men who mounted strong opposition to Your ministry were convinced that they were the defenders of the faith. At Your death they saw it as a victory of right, apple pie and all that is good. Lord Jesus guard my heart against legalism that becomes self righteous instead of claiming a righteousness that only comes from You.

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

Lord Jesus—You quote Hosea who preached against the practice of worship devoid of any heart felt connection to You. You are not interested in ritual you want the reality of my life. Not moments in a stain-glassed worship center, but my life all the time every moment shared with You. That was what you were looking for in Matthew, that was why Matthew left his money to follow You. You offered change not built on hope, but on the evidence of changed lives…miracles that happened all around You. Miracles that continue to happen whenever You are around.

So Matthew left his table and followed You. Teach me all that it means to follow You daily in the quest for Your will lived out in Saratoga. Lord Jesus continue your work of making miracles happen.


  1. This just hit me = wonder why Jesus made Judas the "treasurer" of the diciples and not Matthew?

  2. Good thoughts, my friend. They stirred me, even pushed back at me. Thanks!