Summary of passage: Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him and he did. Jesus then went and had dinner at Matthew’s house with other tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees saw this and asked why. Jesus said he has come to call the sinners, not the righteous.
Jesus is asked why he does not fast. Jesus says the time has not yet come for mourning. After he dies, then fast.
6a) Levi the son of Alphaeus
b) Matthew got up and immediately followed Jesus with not a word. He then invited Jesus over to his house for dinner. Luke adds that Matthew left everything. Luke says Matthew held a great banquet for Jesus at his house.
c) Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27: By denying himself and taking up the cross and following him.
Romans 6:2, 18: Being free from sin and slaves to righteousness
1 Thessalonians 1:9: Turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God
1 John 1:8-10: Confessing our sins, we are forgiven and purified from all unrighteousness. The truth and the Word lives within.
d) Personal Question. My answer: I try to follow His call upon my life and lead a life full of righteousness, reflecting Him to the world. By doing God’s will in your life. Specifically, I write, I teach, I raise children of God, I’m a wife. I do all I believe in my heart I was put here to do for and by Him.
7) Personal Question. My answer: The Pharisees were corrupt. It had become more about power and money instead of about God on their part. They enriched themselves while the majority of people suffered. They put themselves above others, believing them better than others and of a higher class and they cared little for anyone but themselves. The Pharisees kept apart from others, deeming themselves too important to help the infirm, the poor, the helpless.
Here, Jesus is saying they are sick. They need to show mercy to others, which is more important than the sacrifices required in the Bible. Jesus is here for the sinners, the downtrodden, the forgotten of society and not for them who have hardened hearts. The Pharisees are hypocrites and Jesus takes every opportunity to point that out. They are the ones who are poor, pitiful, blind, and naked (Revelation) for they do not have Him.
b) That Jesus is the bridegroom, come to bring his bride (us) to God so that God may rejoice over us once more (be with Him in heaven). To make us righteous and just before God once again (Hosea).
c) The disciples
Note this is past tense. If it were present tense, I would have answered “everyone” or “us”. But since the question is looking for who Jesus was talking about in that moment, the answer must be his 12 disciples
9) Hebrews 10:1 explains it best when the writer explains how the Old Testament law was merely a shadow of the good things to come (Jesus cleansing us forever). The law cannot make sinners/humans perfect; only Jesus can. Old Testament law was merely a stand-in until Jesus arrived. It was not perfect for only Jesus was/is.
Jesus did not come to merely repair the Old Covenant; he came to replace it with something much better. The Old Covenant (old wineskins) cannot contain his New Covenant (new wineskins). Jesus is not a patch to the law. He is New.
Conclusions: We must remember Matthew is very well off in this society. Although despised, tax collectors set their own rates which meant they often extorted people. In ancient times, not a lot of people had any money than what it took to live for the day. So when Matthew leaves “everything”, this everything was a lot compared to others such as James and John who had little.
Furthermore, returning as fishermen (Peter, James, and John) would have been rather easy after their service for Jesus was done. Matthew probably gave up his career permanently.
End Notes: Why is question 6a important? Because we are about to learn in Matthew 10:3 that Matthew’s brother, James son of Alphaeus, is also a disciple of Jesus. Cool how Jesus calls brothers to be his disciples. This should show us the value God places on relatives.
I love this! It’s easy to focus on the disciples who created the most waves and we forget about some of the others (Phillip, Bartholomew, Thaddaeus, etc). But each played an integral role in spreading the Gospel. Even though most of us don’t remember their names, God does. And He remembers our names as well no matter how small of a role we play in His kingdom.
It’s a role. And we all should be humbled we have a part at all.