I enjoy exploring how Jesus called His disciples to follow Him. One of the most amazing things about Jesus is He called unlikely people who you wouldn’t think would be considered. My favorite is the calling of Matthew, the tax collector. Matthew gives his own account of this calling by Jesus in the Book of Matthew. In Jesus’ day, tax collectors were seen as outsiders and traitors. Today’s tax collectors have rules that you follow; you hire an accountant or use an online platform, you fill out all your forms, and pay your taxes. At times you may not appreciate the taxes that are due! Some think their taxes are too high, but most people would say that it’s somewhat equally fair for everyone.
That being said, in Jesus’ time, there were Jewish tax collectors who were religiously and ethnically Jewish, but they worked for the Roman Empire. The Jews of those days saw the Roman Empire as the evil entity occupying their land, and they wanted the Romans out of Israel. In most cases, tax collectors were dishonest because they used an arbitrary system of collecting more taxes than what was required, and padding their own pockets.
Friend, the famous Rabbi Jesus, who Matthew probably wasn’t even allowed to associate with, looked at Matthew, the tax collector, the outsider, the sinner, and He said, ”Come follow me.” Jesus knew the true heart of Matthew. Isn’t that amazing? Today, Jesus is calling you to become His disciple. Go where He leads you, learn from Him, and become like Him.