“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).

Matthew loved money. The surest and shortest way to make money in the Galilee of that day was to take sides with Caesar and become a tax collector, to sell oneself to the service of the oppressors of his people, but Matthew made up his mind and determined to do this. If he set his face like flint for a few years he could retire to spend his rich old age in peace and quiet. The tax collectors were hard-hearted, extortionate and utterly demoralized men, squeezing the last drop of blood out of helpless debtors. Then came the call to follow, and the chains of a lifetime of cruelty fell on the floor, till scarcely taking time to clasp his books and to lock up his presses, Matthew rose up and followed. Now Matthew had more important matters to attend. What a service, above all price, were Matthew’s hands ordained to do. The Gospel needed a diligent and understanding pen to take down the Sermon on the Mount, to report the parables and to seize with correctness and insight His master’s last week of preaching. What a service to build that bridge by which others discovered Christ. What is the Lord calling you to do for Him?

Adapted from “In His Presence”