Monday, February 27, 2012
Notes the Lord:Appointment Kept
Then Jesus went again to walk alongside the lake. Again a crowd came to him, and he taught them. Strolling along, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, at his work collecting taxes. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” He came.
Lord Jesus-I wonder how long Matthew had been waiting there. Counting his money and looking for meaning in the coins of his indenture. The money that created his lifestyle and his economic freedom also was a part of his prison walls. A good Jewish boy working for the iron shod sandal of the Roman oppression was just what every Jewish mother dreamed of for their son.
He must have made difficult choices that landed him where he was. Was it that accounting course that he took while parting at school that was the only thing that he did well in? Were family connections used when all else failed. Or maybe it was just what he had aimed at all along. A secure, safe if hated job in the middle of a hot arid oppressed and depressed region is at least a job.
I wonder how long it had been since a Rabbi had looked at him as if he was really there. I wonder how long it had been since he had heard a person of his faith community speak his name?
Maybe Matthew didn't know that he had an appointment with you but he did. It wasn't on his Day Timer but there was an appointment none the less. The call of the Master and his invitation were what Matthew had been waiting for all his life and just didn't know it.
Lord Jesus-- I wonder if you reached your hand out to Matthew? I would guess that no Rabbi had touched him or talked to him for many years. Was there still the smell of Roman money on his hands as you reached out to him? You didn't worry about getting your hands dirty did you when you met Matthew beside the sea with the wind and the waves playing on the edge of sight. You call Matthew just the way he was.
That is just the way that you are. Grace has a way of calling that requires a choice. Do I sit here with these things that are binding me to this place or do I follow? A part of the change that grace would require was for Matthew to leave his tax booth and his accounting books. I am reasonably sure that this was not the last time that Matthew heard your call to personal sacrifice and followed you to where you were leading...leaving the things that had moments before occupied his mind and heart.
Lord Jesus--Thank You for the coming day. Be in the appointments that I will have in this day...the ones that I know about and the ones that you will make me aware of.
Peterson, Eugene H. (2006-06-15). The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language (p. 1794). NavPress. Kindle Edition.