“As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So, he arose and followed Him” (Matthew 9:9).
After only six hours in his new home, Hercules sprang into action. The newly adopted Saint Bernard had been relatively quiet since joining his new family, but when a man attempted to break into the house through the basement, Hercules was no longer a gentle giant. He began growling, broke through a screen door, and bit the intruder, chasing him away.
As are most dogs, the Saint Bernard is loyal and eager to please its owner. This massive and friendly animal can reach over two feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 180 pounds. Saint Bernhards were originally used to guard the grounds of a hospice in Switzerland and help find and save lost or injured travellers. They are kind, gentle, intelligent, good-natured, and want human companionship. Though not aggressive, their protective instincts will rise up if their family is threatened.
In a moment’s notice, Levi Matthew was called upon to make the biggest decision of his life. As he sat at a tax booth by the sea, Jesus walked by and said to him, “Follow me.” Matthew didn’t hesitate. He sprang into action, left everything behind, and loyally followed after the Master.
Matthew became interested in saving lost people. After his call, he held a feast in Jesus’ honour and invited his friends who also happened to be “tax collectors and sinners” (Mark 2:16). When the scribes and Pharisees walked by and criticized Christ for mingling with such despised people, Jesus told them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Mark 2:17).
When Jesus asks us to follow Him, His invitation involves being loyal to the mission of rescuing people lost in sin. Matthew’s quick response revealed his genuine devotion to God. Even in the face of condemnation from Israel’s highest leaders, this shunned tax collector welcomed the companionship of his new Master. Do you?
O Jesus, I choose to leave all the attractions of this world to faithfully follow You.
For Further Study: Matthew 9:9–13; Mark 2:13–17; John 10:27