In all likelihood, none of the twelve disciples was more notorious a sinner than Matthew. But, Matthew dropped everything immediately when He met Jesus and embraced the outcasts of his world and introduced them to Christ. He stands as a vivid reminder that the Lord chooses the most despicable people of this world, redeems them, gives them new hearts and uses them in remarkable ways.
Read Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 18:10-14; Luke 19:2-10
1.) Apparently Jesus had a special place in His heart for tax collectors. What principle about God’s way versus man’s way can we glean from these passages?
2.) Matthew immediately responds to Jesus’ request and leaves his tax collecting booth without hesitation. What can we assume about Matthew here and the irreversible decision to leave his job?
3.) What separated the people who rejected Jesus with those He called to be His followers, was their willingness to admit their own sinfulness. If forgiveness and unconditional love are the standards for Christ, why did so many people try to cover up their need for Christ back then? What about now?
4.) Matthew threw a huge party for Jesus at his home. He invited his notorious sinner friends to introduce them to Christ. In what ways might a home be a perfect place of hospitality and ministry?
5.) How does Jesus’ concern for those who need a “physician” challenge you in your choices of who to socialize with?
6.) Jesus stated “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Also, “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Can we imply that every person is spiritually sick? Why or why not?
7.) Describe the most unusual place you have ever found yourself as a result of attempting to influence your world for Christ.