Come, Follow Me

Come, Follow Me

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time:
Readings: Hosea 5:15-6:6
Romans 4:13-18
Matthew 9:9-13

Christ has given to us everything pertaining to life and godliness. He became like us, gave us His life on the cross so that we would be free from all the bondages. God sent us the Holy Spirit to empower us. The “house” is not empty. We need to glorify God in His temple. We have come to the part in the Christian year where we should be asking ourselves, “what did we do with what God has given us?” We are seated with Him in the heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers.

Matthew is the first Gospel of the New Testament. Matthew’s actual birth name was Levi, and he was a tax collector. In those days, no one liked a tax collector. All the tax collectors were wealthy and corrupt. Here we find Levi working at the port of Capernaum. Christ came and called him, “follow Me.” Christ obviously saw something potential in Matthew. Christ calls people who are not idle. These were people who were working. When Christ called Matthew, he left his work immediately and followed Christ. When Jesus calls you to follow him, He literally means, “Be like me. Follow what I do.” Matthew then calls for a party. He invites his fellow tax collectors to be there. He was a changed man. Yes he had wealth, but was willing to leave this behind to follow Christ. He wanted his friends to know. No longer was he going to be Levi but Matthew, meaning “gift of God.” He wanted others to experience his new life. The Pharisees saw this and condemned Christ for dining with sinners. They were self-righteous and arrogant and did not want to have anything to do with sinners.

When Christ comes into our lives, He not only takes away our sin but also our sicknesses.

Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us. The Pharisees may be judges and lawyers. But they did not save people. They destroyed people. Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

God does not condemn us. He restores us. Matthew may have lost his income, but he found honor. We often hear Christ saying, “the things that I do, so will you do.” 1 John 4:17 “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” When He appears, we will know Him because we will be like Him. Matthew had such peace and joy that he wanted all his “sinner” friends to know.

Frank Costantino, a mafia boss was sentenced for 22 1/2 years in prison for murder. In prison, he found Christ. Just like Matthew, he wanted his co-prisoners to experience this new life. He began to conduct bible studies inside and literally turned the prison situation around. When he was pardoned, his co-prisoners didn’t want to let him go. But he assured them that they will not be forsaken. Frank went on to build a place where the prisoners would be taken cared of. And he went on building other communities of this sort and called these, “bridges of America.” The government supported his cause. His changed life brought so much impact to society. It is our task to be like Christ. He is the pattern of our life. He is our hope, our joy. “What did you do with what I gave you” is God’s challenge to each of us every single day of our lives.


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