“Matthew got up and followed him.”

Mt 9:9 NIV

Collecting taxes for the Romans was a lucrative job. But for a Jew like Matthew it meant betraying your own people. As a result he was despised and excluded from religious worship. But that didn’t stop Jesus from calling him to be a disciple. And when He did, Matthew didn’t hesitate; he “got up and followed him.” Sheila Schuller Coleman points out: “Where everyone else saw a pariah, Jesus saw a promise…where everyone else saw a traitor, Jesus saw a loyal follower. Where everyone saw a loser, Jesus saw a champion of the faith…It matters not who we are…our education…our pedigree…our connections…or our history…Jesus has a plan…and He needs every one of us to fulfill our God-given, divine purpose.” It’s natural to be apprehensive when you’re facing change and uncertainty, but God says, “Take courage!…Don’t be afraid” (Mt 14:27 NIV). One Bible teacher writes: “God knows it involves a challenging stretch…He knows our abilities and resources aren’t what strengthen us for the journey (See Php 4:13). When we fear we can’t do the things God calls us to do…that He won’t protect and provide…we embrace the lie that our circumstances are bigger than God, and our faith gets placed on the altar of our own perceptions. If you’re like me you often fear what’s behind the curtain of God’s call, and—frustratingly—He won’t let me peek…He keeps the curtain of our future drawn so we’ll learn to live by faith and not by sight, so we’ll become certain of what we hope for, and become sure of God even when we can’t see how He’s working in our current circumstances.”