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What if Matthew had said no when Jesus came calling (see Matthew 9:9-13)?

We know that Matthew (also known as Levi) had mortgaged himself to gain a substantial portion of wealth in his world. We know that when Christ came around, he was forced to choose between that poverty of riches and the richness of poverty with Jesus. We know that leaving his position as a tax collector meant Matthew could never go back to it—Herod and the others in Roman civil government wouldn’t allow that. So it was all or nothing for Matthew—and he chose the all to be found in having nothing but Jesus.

And then what?

History and tradition tell us that after Jesus’ resurrection, Matthew spent about eight years preaching in and around his home territory of Judea in Israel. After that, it’s believed that he took the message of Jesus to Arabia, Syria, and Ethiopia. Somewhere in there, likely around 70 AD while in Syria, Matthew put down the stories of Christ in written form, sealing his place in history and creating for us a record that would literally lead millions and millions to faith. He finally suffered a martyr’s death, being killed by the sword (or axe) while preaching in Ethiopia.

Can you imagine the theft to history—and to your own personal experience with Jesus—if Levi the tax collector had said no when the Messiah called? Or what might happen if you said no to Christ’s personal call in your life?

It makes you wonder…

 

Works Cited:

[BBC, 202; AAB, 254; ASB, 1556; GSM, 52]

 

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About: Mike Nappa

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