Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pentecost 4

Today's readings were Psalm 119, Hosea 5:15-6:6, Romans 4:13-25, and Matthew 9:9-13, which was the sermon text.
Are we crazy to follow Jesus, as Matthew did? No. Even though Matthew left his well-paying job of tax collector to follow Him? Still no. Perhaps he had been absorbing the Messiah's words (antithetical to prevailing culture) for some time. Still he wasn't crazy, although his friends suggested otherwise. Tax collectors were lumped with sinners, and Matthew certainly didn't appear to be star material. Yet he wasn't crazy. But why not?

Answer: Jesus "came to call not the righteous, but sinners," and this was God's will. He defined "sinner" more broadly than the Pharisees did, thus including all of us. After all, He came to save His people from their sins.

"Go and learn" the meaning of God's will (v. 13a) is the same Greek root used in the Great Commission. Learning the will of God is the life of a Christian, a life each of us Christians un-crazily lives unto eternity before the face of God-with-us. "Follow Me." These two words are our life. Why? Answer: We have a competent Commander who knows what He's doing. We don't have to know "where" - because Jesus is there.
What a comfort.

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