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Matthew is invited to follow Jesus

Matthew the tax collector becomes a disciple.
Contributed by LUMO project
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish
Matthew was a Jew who had chosen to become a tax collector for the Romans who were occupying the land. – Slide 1
Tax collectors were hated as traitors by their fellow Jews as they gathered money for the Romans. They often charged much more than they should to make themselves rich. – Slide 2
Matthew sat at a tax booth in the town of Capernaum where Jesus was staying. There was a garrison of soldiers led by a centurion at Capernaum to make sure the taxes demanded by Matthew and his fellow collectors were paid. Matthew no doubt had heard about Jesus and what He was teaching in Capernaum. – Slide 3
Most of the religious leaders avoided tax collectors and thought they were too sinful to ever be forgiven by God. Matthew must have been surprised when Jesus walked up to his tax booth and said, ‘Follow me.’ – Slide 4
Matthew thought quickly. To follow Jesus would mean leaving his job and the large amounts of money he could get by cheating other people. – Slide 5
Tax collectors were wealthy and enjoyed a rich lifestyle with plenty to eat and drink. – Slide 6
To follow Jesus Matthew knew he would have to give up his cheating and corrupt ways and obey God instead. It was a big decision which would change his life forever. – Slide 7
Matthew got up immediately, left his job as a tax collector and became a disciple of Jesus. – Slide 8
He invited Jesus and His disciples to his house to have a meal. He also invited his tax collecting friends and others in Capernaum who had a bad reputation to meet Jesus. – Slide 9
Other religious leaders would never share a meal with people like this. But Jesus and His disciples ate and talked with them. – Slide 10
When the Pharisees saw this, they asked Jesus’ disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ – Slide 11
Jesus replied ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor. Only the sick need a doctor.  Go and learn what this means: “I want faithful love more than I want animal sacrifices.” (Hosea 6:6) I did not come to invite good people. I came to invite sinners.’ – Slide 12
Slide 13