TOPIC: SAINT MATTHEW THE APOSTLE
TEXT: Matthew 9:1 -31(NKJV)
1. So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.
2. Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
3. And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”
4. But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?
5. “For which is easier, to say, ‘[Your] sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?
6. “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” — then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
Anglican Daily Fountain Devotional 21 September 2021 | Scripture
7. And he arose and departed to his house.
8. Now when the multitudes saw [it,] they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
9. 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.
10. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, [that] behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.
11. And when the Pharisees saw [it,] they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12. When Jesus heard [that,] He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
13. “But go and learn what [this] means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
14. Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?”
15. And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16. “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse.
17. “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
18. While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”
19. So Jesus arose and followed him, and so [did] His disciples.
20. And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.
21. For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”
22. But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
23. When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing,
24. He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him.
25. But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
26. And the report of this went out into all that land.
27. When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
28. And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”
29. Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
30. And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See [that] no one knows [it.”] 31. But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.
Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the “tax farmers” got for themselves. Hence, the latter, known as “publicans,” were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews.
So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers. The Pharisees asked: What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus’ answer was, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.”
Matthew’s call reminds that we need to prayerfully discern and identify our talents and gifts. Jesus recognised the talents that were present in Matthew that others could not discern. Seeing Matthew in the role of customs officer/tax collector, no one recognised his potential for service to the early church.
But Jesus did. More so, all the events in the passage seem to be to the advantage of those called the Gentiles, signifying that God God accepts all. Of course, Jesus loves and died for all! We need to ask God in prayer for the grace to recognise talents and potentials for an openness that does not prejudge people.
PRAYER: Lord, grant the grace to recognise talents and potentials in me and in others. Help me to put them to use especially as it concerns the winning of souls for Your kingdom. Amen.
Thanks for reading Anglican Daily Fountain Devotional 21 September 2021 | Saint Matthew The Apostle.