Imagine yourself in Matthew’s shoes today. You’ve heard stories about this Jesus, a miracle worker who people believe might be the Messiah. He opens the eyes of the blind, speaks about God’s forgiveness, and treats the poor and outcast with kindness. Now he’s coming toward you, and at first it seems as if he is going to walk right by you.
But then he stops, looks right at you, and says, “Follow me.” You’re caught off guard: Why would he say this to me? I’ve never even met him before.
Other questions begin to flood your mind: Why me? What about all my sins and failings? Surely Jesus must know who I am and all that I’ve done. If nothing else, he would know me by the company I keep.
But as you look into his eyes, you begin to feel peaceful. You’re not exactly sure where the peace is coming from, but you realize that you don’t need all the answers before you say yes to Jesus. There’s something about this man—you just trust him.
And it’s funny, because as soon as you realize you don’t need answers, they begin to form in your mind: Jesus is choosing me because he loves me. Yes, he knows all the things I’ve done. How I have looked to my own needs above others. How I have hurt people by my words and actions. And yet still he is asking me to join him.
He must be inviting me to follow him because he knows I can change. He says his Father is full of mercy and that if I repent and believe his message, I can actually enter the kingdom of God. When I first heard that, I didn’t believe him. How could God forgive me? But now I do believe him. Now I know that I can become like him: loving, kind, and generous. I know that I can join him on his mission to reach out to other people just like me.
Yes, I’m ready to turn away from my old life. I want to follow Jesus. I want to give my life to him.
Word Among Us