Synoptic Accounts of Matthew’s Call:
Synoptic Accounts of Matthew’s Banquet:
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One Reply to “Call of Matthew & Banquet at his house”
Jesus’ call of Matthew to join his band of disciples was recorded in the Synoptics as just a plain and simple event–completely unremarkable. He saw Matthew, said “Follow me” and Matthew did what he was told. Done. We learn a lot about Matthew through the gospels, but his calling is as simple as it gets. I wonder if we try to make things too hard these days, do we overthink our calling? No doubt Jesus knew Matthew better than anyone (including Matthew), but Matthew’s decision to just leave everything was very remarkable. What follow next is evidence to support his complete conversion, his immediate metamorphosis from tax collector to Christ follower.
Perhaps in Matthew’s excitement he gets the crazy idea to throw a party and invite his tax collector friends along with many others who are apparently sinners (based on the accounts in the Synoptics). It’s interesting to note that the Pharisees inject themselves into the conversation once again. This time, they show up at Matthew’s house and ask the disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard the question and used it as a teachable moment:
Read that statement out loud. Depending on how you emphasize the words, the Pharisees could walk away with the conclusion that they are indeed the righteous ones, so they don’t need Jesus’ attention. I can imagine them walking away and chatting on the way back to wherever they came when it dawns on them what Jesus just said. In their own eyes they are righteous, follow and enforce all of the laws and they don’t associate with sinners. Their role is not to grow the kingdom, but to hold tightly to the few who have been chosen by God from their perspective. They’re doing a good job by all accounts, checking their lists multiple times, verifying they did it right. They are looking so closely at the trees that they cannot possibly see the forest.
I wonder if this happens to us more often than we think. We are all sinners in need of a savior, no doubt. We get comfortable in our own ways, set on a path that seems right. Anyone who suggests we should be doing something different is immediately dismissed by the counsel of our friends who are also on a similar path and point in life. Jesus is not bound by such limitations and always pierces through the finite minds and plans of men. Lord, help me to not act so self-righteous that I cannot hear the truth, that I cannot see the next steps that are in front of me.