Choosing to Follow
By Dawn Tolbert
“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.” Matthew 9:9
Our own plans can get in the way of following Jesus.
My husband and I had a rare Saturday free. I was staying home catching up on chores while Larry ran errands. He was leaving the post office when a woman approached him. She was hungry and looked like life was hard for her.
Thankfully, Larry was the one running errands; I might have hurried by, too focused on my to-do list to notice her. But my husband felt God urging him to help, and he immediately obeyed. He got the lady some food, found out where she lived, and came home to get me so I could accompany him to buy groceries for her. I tried to explain that I had my day planned, but he was determined to Jesus. Nothing else mattered.
In today’s verse, Matthew, one of Jesus’s disciples, shared his story of the day he left his plans to follow the true Leader—Jesus. Matthew had likely been part of the crowd that heard Christ teach and had probably witnessed miracles. From his place at the tax collector’s table, he might’ve heard the buzz about Jesus having just healed a paralyzed man whose friends had lowered him through the roof.
Then Jesus walked by and saw Matthew. It’s important to note, the Jewish people despised tax collectors. They were outcasts and, often, cheats. But when Jesus looked, He saw Matthew—not just his sin or occupation.
He invited Matthew to follow Him, and he did. Matthew didn’t worry about his tax collecting business or anything else he might have had planned that day. Jesus called, and he followed.
Lord, please help us to follow Matthew’s example and be quick to follow when You call.
Dawn Tolbert is a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries Daily Devotional, a Christ-follower who writes to honor God, thank Him for His goodness, and encourage readers by sharing her faith journey. She works in higher education public relations and is writing her first novel and her first book-length Bible study. She has earned a B.A. in Communication Studies and English (Gardner-Webb College), a M.A. in Professional Writing (Kennesaw State University), and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership (Union University). She and her husband, Larry, live in Cedartown, Georgia, and serve actively in their church. Dawn blogs at email@example.com.
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