Day 134/260: Read Matthew 9
Don’t you just love talking about yourself? When you tell stories about things that happened in your life, you load those stories up with details, don’t you? And you always make sure to include details that make you look especially good.
That’s not how Matthew went about it. When Matthew wrote his account of the gospel, his focus was on Jesus, not on himself. Consider the incident related in this chapter of Matthew’s call to follow the Lord. Now read Luke’s account of the same incident in Luke 5:27-31. Keep in mind that “Matthew” and “Levi” are the same person. Do you notice any differences?
Based on Matthew’s account, what happened when Jesus said, “Follow Me”? Matthew says that “he arose and followed Him.” Pretty straight-forward, isn’t it? But Luke adds one other detail, saying that the tax collector “left all.” He made a great personal sacrifice in his decision to follow Jesus, but Matthew didn’t want to brag on himself.
Look at Matthew’s account again. Whose house did they eat in? He doesn’t reveal that information, does he? But Luke does! “Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house” (Luke 5:29). Matthew did not mention that it was his house; he humbly left himself out, wanting the focus to be on Jesus.
Where is the focus of our story? Let’s give Jesus the position He deserves—front and center. Put Him in the spotlight, and let us stand in the shadows. It’s not about us. It’s about Him.
Memory (Fill in the blanks)
Matthew 10:39. He who finds his life will ____________ it, and he who loses his life for My sake will ____________ it.
Pray for humility when spreading the gospel.
Actions speak louder than words. The apostle Matthew (also known as Levi) demonstrated his devotion to the Lord through his actions. He worked as a tax collector. The Jews had a very low opinion of tax collectors, but it was a financially lucrative occupation. When Jesus called Matthew, Luke says that “he left all, rose up, and followed Him” (Luke 5:28).
Matthew recognized the infinite value of the soul. He recorded the Lord’s words, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Knowing this surely made the decision to leave his position at the tax office less difficult.
The humility of Matthew also shines through in his account of Christ’s gospel. He writes, “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples” (Matthew 9:9-10).
Compare this with Luke’s account: “After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he left all, rose up, and followed Him. Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them” (Luke 5:27-29).
Did you notice the differences? They are slight, but they are there. Matthew does not say that he left everything, but Luke wants to be sure the reader recognizes his level of commitment. Also, Matthew simply mentions a feast “in the house.” Luke tells us that Matthew “gave Him a great feast in his own house.” Matthew could have given himself credit for these things, but he didn’t want to draw focus away from Jesus.
Let’s remember to always give God the glory, showing others His love and grace.