MATTHEW'S RESPONSE

Luke 5: 28 " He left all, rose up, and followed him."

The Lord sought out a publican named Levi, sitting at the receipt of customs. The Lord said unto him, Follow me. Matthew's response is the same as every believer born from above. Matthew's response is the result of the irresistible grace of God upon a quickened sinner.

He left all

Matthew was tax collector in the mighty city Capernaum but he left it. Matthew had many associates and friends but he left them. Matthew had a house and means to accommodate a feast for a great company but he left it. He did not falter at giving up comfortable things like the scribe who said he would follow the Lord anywhere. That man was troubled when he heard the Lord say, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Neither did Matthew answer like another who said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Matthew believed the Lord when he said, No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew's heart was no longer set on wealth and assets but on the Lord Jesus Christ. He put his hand to the plough and never looked back. But notice something here, scripture says he left all before it says he rose up. Before Matthew had moved a muscle, by a new heart and partaker of the divine nature, Matthew left all.

He Rose Up

When commanded by Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, Matthew rose up. No longer resting in the pit of bondage and sin but by the word of the Lord Matthew rose up. He heard the freedom bell ring as did Moses and Aaron when the voice of the conquered Pharaoh of Egypt said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. The Lord sought out one whom he eternally loved and lifted Matthew up as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

And he followed him

Matthew went forth preaching the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He did not try to save his life but took up his cross and followed Christ. He trusted the faithful Master who said If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. When the Lord washed the apostles' feet, Matthew was there. When the Lord appeared after his death and burial and showed his disciples his hands and his side, he was there. When the disciples stood and looked steadfastly as he went up, there in the midst was Matthew. Surely there was great comfort in Matthew's soul when he heard the Lord speak, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. And Matthew followed him.

Clay Curtis