Boundless Love: The Transformative Call of Jesus

Published on Feb 20, 2024
Category: Behold!

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

Our God of boundless love embraces the most unlikely souls. 

Jesus calls Matthew, also known as Levi the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14), while he was sitting at the tax office. Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were not only notorious sinners; they were also regarded as collaborators with the Romans against their fellow Jews. They worked for the Romans and had the force of the Roman soldiers to make people pay taxes. Nobody liked the man who sat at the tax office. 

Knowing how almost everyone hated tax collectors, it is remarkable to see how Jesus loved and called Matthew. There is archaeological evidence that fish taken from the Sea of Galilee were taxed. So Jesus took as His disciple the taxman who may have taken money from Peter, James, John, and the other fishermen among the disciples. This might have made for some awkward introductions (Enduring Word).

The Bible tells us Matthew was quick to respond to Jesus’ call. “He left his tax collector’s table; but took from it one thing – his pen…this man, whose trade had taught him to use a pen, used that skill to compose the first handbook of the teaching of Jesus.” (Barclay).

Isn’t it beautiful how when we respond to Jesus’ call, He transforms our lives completely? Just like Matthew, who left behind his old life as a tax collector to follow Jesus, we too can experience a profound change when we heed His invitation.

Take a moment to pause and ponder. Are there areas where you feel stuck or burdened by your past mistakes? Are there aspects of your life where you need Jesus to come in and bring healing and transformation?

Would you choose today to arise from whatever holding you back and follow Him wholeheartedly, just as Matthew did? And as we follow Him, let’s also remember to use the unique skills and talents He has given us for His glory, just like Matthew did with his pen.

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for your boundless love for me. I choose to rise and follow you wholeheartedly. 


Author

Preethi Alice Jacob

Preethi Jacob is the author of the yearlong devotional At the Potter’s Wheel, Day by Day. Her journey includes teaching a Bible Study Fellowship class, teaching and leading the Sunday School ministry in her church, leading Bible studies, besides counselling young women. She serves on the Global Mission Team of the United Bible Societies and lives in Bangalore, India with her husband and two young adult children.

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