by Rex Yancey

An Unlikely Prospect
Rex Yancey
Matthew 9:9-13

If you had looked up Uranium in the encyclopedia some years ago, you would have read a definition like this "A rare metal of little known value." That, of course, is no longer true." The advent of the atomic era has resulted in Uranium becoming more precious to some than gold or silver.
There are people who at first glance seem to be persons of little known value. They are nobodies-people who do not seem to be prospects for greatness or candidates for historical immortality. Yet, like Uranium, when the situation is right, everything changes. Prior opinions and estimations are incorrect.
Matthew was such a person. If we had been in the Master's shoes we would have likely rejected him as a candidate for apostleship. He was an unlikely prospect. But the Lord saw qualities in him that could mean much in kingdom service. Thus, to the consternation of some the Lord said, "Follow me," and he did!
The call of this unlikely prospect can teach us some truths about the Lord and ourselves.
1. His profession made him an unlikely candidate.
He was a tax collector, a civil servant of the Roman government. He was a traitor in the eyes of the people. They hated the Roman yoke. Then, they hated any Jew who would work for the Romans in collecting taxes. They hated the publicans because they lined their own pockets. The two requirements for this job were to be thick skinned and to have no ethics. However, the Lord saw something in him that others did not see.
2. His position made him an unlikely candidate. He played the part of a publican. He wasn't nig enough to hob-nog with the biggies, and yet he had no friends among his own people. His social life was confined to other publicans and people who did not keep the ceremonial law.
-He was friendless. He was an outcast.
3. The Lord is interested in people that others shun. He was often found with ...

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