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The Home of Matthew: To Support a Statement (21 of 34)
Series: Bible Oases: Spiritual Refreshment From Unlikely Places
Capernaum was one of the most important centers in Galilee, for through the city went caravans of many nations. There were numerous offices along the highways where imported goods were examined, assessed, and dues paid to government representatives. Matthew the son of Alphaeus was one of those men. The approach of Jesus to his table aroused considerable interest, for the Lord had no luggage to be examined and nothing to declare. With speculative eyes, Matthew looked at his client and then heard the words, "Follow me." There could not have been a more electrifying moment, for unlike Zacchaeus, Matthew knew the identity of Jesus. The inspired preaching of the Evangelist from Nazareth had stirred the city, and the cleansing of a leper had amazed the entire community. Every person talked about Jesus, and possibly Matthew had attended one of the meetings.
Much was at stake that day, for Matthew was an employee of the government and was accountable to an overseer. He was a man of the pen and was required to keep accurate records. Leaving his post in the middle of a busy day would cause problems-His records would be ruined, his employment lost, and his future threatened. As he continued to watch the Stranger with the fascinating smile and the laughing eyes, the Lord said to him, "Follow me." Suddenly the soul of the customs agent was deeply affected, and his obedience was instantaneous. Mark explained it was only the prelude to a banquet to which many publicans and sinners were invited. The Pharisees were outraged, but the Savior was aware of the consequences and decided to support His new friend.
If the host were asked why he had forsaken everything, he probably replied, "Look at Jesus." If people inquired about his plans for the future, he replied, "I want to stay with Him forever." Matthew transformed a home into a ...
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