Matthew 9:9 says, “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.” When Jesus saw that man in Capernaum, He saw more than just an individual. He saw someone with several characteristics who would make a worthy and profitable disciple. Let’s notice what Jesus saw.
Jesus Saw a Man Who Had a Soul to Be Saved
This was Jesus’ main mission on the earth. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Although Matthew was a tax collector and hated among his own people, Jesus saw a man who needed salvation. What would Matthew’s occupation ultimately gain him? Mark 8:36-37 says, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Following Jesus would be the best decision this man ever made, and he had the choice to make it that day!
Jesus Saw a Man Who Had Talents He Wasn’t Using
If they truth were to be told, everyone has talents they are not using. No matter how many talents we have, whether it be five, two, or one like the men in Matthew 25:14-30, we can do better. Matthew was simply a man who could do better. Paul told Timothy, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). How many of us could really do better in service to the Lord if we were willing to cleanse ourselves from unrighteousness and apathy?
Jesus Saw a Man Who Was Better Than His Surroundings
The observation of Jesus reminds me of Philip and Nathanael in John 1:45-16. The text says, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.” Something good could come out of that tax collector’s booth. But it took the encouragement and teaching of the Lord for him to develop. In Matthew 8:10, when Jesus heard of the centurion’s faith, He said, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Ironically, this Gentile’s faith was greater than the Jews!
Jesus Saw a Man Who Needed Encouragement to Be Better
We do not know the extent of Matthew’s character, but I am sure it could be better. Jesus, in wanting Matthew to “follow him,” was giving him the opportunity to be better. In 2 Timothy 4:2, it says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Often through our preaching and teaching we try to get people to live better. I hope it is the desire of every Christian to be “commended to the Lord” (Acts 14:23). Matthew took the opportunity to be better — will you? Can you make an effort to develop how your serve your brethren and Lord?
Jesus Saw a Man Who Let His Light Shine
Mark 2:15 states, “And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.” Matthew took the chance to fill his home with those who really needed to hear the Lord! How well he heeded his own statement: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). He possessed the same zeal as did Cornelius who “called together his kinsmen and near friends” to hear Peter (Acts 10:24).
Jesus Saw a Man Who Was Willing to Pay the Price
Matthew 16:24 says, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Following Jesus and the gospel has a cost involved. Anyone unwilling to pay that price is not worthy. Luke 9:62 says, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Would you be willing to pay the price or will you let your job, your family, or your reputation stand in the way of eternal life?
Jesus sees you and He wants you to follow. Would you be willing to do what Matthew did? Only those willing to make the commitment and willing to make the sacrifices will be approved of the Lord in the day of judgment. Count the cost and make your decision!