16 May 2021

God’s call on your life – if you really follow him, what happens next?  Matthew 9:9-13

x

A. He Calls

9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

Question 1: Where were you when you first were aware of God perhaps reaching out to you and calling you for the first time?

Question 2: What things stop people following Christ immediately?

B. He Cares

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Question 3: What things might have made this dinner challenging for the disciples?

(Luke 14:16)   “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’

Question 4: None of the excuses given are particularly evil ones.  Why is that so tragic?

C. He Cures

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Question 5: What experiences of life might heighten our sense of need of Christ?

(Psalm 139:1-3)   You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Question 6: How do you feel about the fact that God knows everything about you?  Do you sometimes behave as if he only knows what you tell him?

(Psalm 139:23-24)   Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts 24See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Question 7: What is the psalmist inviting God to do in these two verses? Are you prepared to do the same?

Question 8: Thinking about the God who calls, cares and cures, which of these issues represents the biggest challenge for you spiritually right now?

A Prayer

Loving merciful Heavenly Father, thank you that your Son paid the price that I might be called, cared for, and cured of every stain of sin.

Help me answer your call without hesitation. Help me receive your care, recognising the huge depth of your unconditional love.

Thank you that you have the cure for all my sin.  Help me take my place at your table and enjoy your presence now and forever, for the sake of your Son my Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.