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The Trouble With Matthew

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
September 13, 2021 12:00 am

The Trouble With Matthew

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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September 13, 2021 12:00 am

Because Jesus only called 12 disciples to be His closest followers, the identities of these men become especially important for our study. Did Jesus only call me who would be good witnesses as hardworking men of integrity? Far from it! Today, join us in the book of Luke as we discover perhaps the most unusual calls to ministry that Jesus delivers in the Bible.


Jesus is calling sinners to repentance is the theme of this message is not intimidated by this crowd is soften the is going to speak you know what is been essentially invited criminal and you say to them essentially law like you're on the wrong I need you to turn around and follow me because it was a relatively small group, they grew very close because of their proximity to Jesus in their later ministry after Jesus return to heaven their lives and identities are important. Jesus didn't only call men who would be great witnesses and were especially noteworthy in any way. In fact, in some ways Jesus selection of these men is quite unexpected.

This is wisdom for the heart.

Today Stephen David continues through his exposition of Luke with this message: the trouble with Christ. There was one profession in particular.

One occupation that was especially despised anybody who had job was automatically hated because of the career they chose. They were considered perpetually unclean. They were viewed as beyond the grace of God. They were testifying in court because there were was entirely untrustworthy. In a word, trouble, religious leaders during the days of Christ would've had them all in prison if they Jesus is about to call one of them to be his disciple, his disciple by two names his Jewish name is Levi is business name is Greek name is Matthew. More on that later, but his occupation was that of tax collector, and that was the trouble with Matthew, that was the trouble with math. He worked for the Roman Internal Revenue Service, you would've had trouble with them to go back to the gospel by Luke which we are expanding our way through were now in chapter 5 in a very brief encounter that greets us now in verse 27, which is what we left off some of you have your Bibles turn their were given a little context with the words after this lets us know this is after the Lord is healed the paralyzed man. We studied in our last session together.

Now notice after this he, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the text now before we get into the conversation. Let me fill you in a little more on his occupation which I think will set the stage well for what Jesus done during the days of the Lord.

There were several kinds of civil taxes you paid, get your car tax your income tax your poll tax or field tax. Your card will tax your boat tax your Highway tax and all was paid to the beloved tax collector. The Roman government would decide and determine the value of a region based on income levels and then assign certain tax figure to be collected from that region and sell the right to collect those taxes to the highest bidder. We know from history that typically man involved in organized crime won the bid people to bid against them, and they often hired enforcers to make sure taxes were paid. The rabbis during the days of Jesus actually referred the tax collectors with the word that we translate gangster but as long as taxes. The tax collectors in every region could add their own amounts.

On top of it all and keep it tax collectors from Jewish regions like this one here in this region of Capernaum were considered doubly weekend. They not only extorted more than was due to liner packets.

They were trainers. They were representing not only to be able to turn around, steal from their Jewish king rabbis were teaching during the days of Jesus that if it tax collector set foot in someone's house that everyone in that house and that entire house was immediately unclean Jewish tax collector. Like Levi or Matthew would've been known throughout Capernaum as a trader and uncaring extortionist somebody would forsaken now either people, by the living God of the nation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

This is exactly the kind of guy you would not have as one of your disciples. This is not the right way to kickoff your public ministry. Now that is the fact comes this rather shocking invitation. Verse 27 again after this he went out and saw tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth is that doing follow me all of Jesus is office. Anything around her. He goes to the office of Matthew I in the doorway is flanked by two really big men wearing dark suits and sunglasses flanking the doorway kind of a Brooklyn Jewish accident. The effects tough guys not slow down the Lord is Matthew is in is a crime syndicate. He wants right and essentially sitting here it is – follow me. There's a command here. Let's go you could you could paraphrase it literally and assess to say will Matthew my follow that in shocking enough. Verse 28 tells us leaving everything behind.

He rose and followed him to guide the suits did the guys you know what that he grabbed his coat locks the door, tells the property to go get another job he's done and never looks like the verb here. Verse 28 he left everything literally means you're ready.

He left everything every you could render it he foresaw it all. In other words, he said farewell to everything he had no everything he had been and he follows Jesus now don't go so fast you miss Lori of this conversion. Think about it from way the second. You know as well as I do if you're old enough of the faith is only 12. I mean 12.

This is one of the 12. This is your representative in the community told the truth in this he is a leading member trying to send that one author wrote that Matthew would've been like the Godfather of this is one of your 12 trouble with Matthew's trouble is associated with trouble is alive trouble you calling it gangster to be one of your representative. I think Jesus would've probably responded to the comments I just made with something like yeah I know II know I know who. Matthew is but I know Matthew can become.

If you will follow. Just like you and me. Jesus knows who you are. Jesus knows you've been Jesus knows what you can become.

If you follow in Matthew.this life is so turned around that what he does is what he knows to do best. He throws a big party and he invites his friends, only this time it's it's a little different in its reasoning.

Look at verse 29, and Levi made him a great feast in his house to let you know you, Billy could handle with the caterers that let you know little bit about how big his housewives. He's taught reception and noticed there was a large company tax collectors and authors.

I love the and others.

Matthew's gospel when he recounts it in Mark's gospel both translate this and it was a large company tax collectors and sinners.

We will go down the last watches, dissenters gather all these centers in the gangsters members of the same criminals*yes, if you been invited to this party you left your wallet at home and your jewelry and everything out. What crap you got a receipt is doing. He is bringing everybody knows Jesus because he wants to introduce everybody he knows to Jesus, and this is everybody.

This is by the way, the main attraction here is not Matthew is Jesus go back to the key phrase and Levi made him circle that he made for him. He gave for him this great reception so this is the retirement party. Matthew's not doing this to say guys are no longer with the amount now is throwing this essay, no who's just think my best friend. You gotta meet this guy. I love this, Jesus is calling sinners to repentance. That's the theme of his message which I think is really really amazing is not intimidated by this crowd is to soften the edges pull any punches with truth and he's going to speak you know what is been essentially invited to a convention of about criminals and he's saying to them essentially low to you is exhibit a is coming over there just grinning from ear.

Scott smiled like you're on the wrong I need you to turn around and get online tennis stop dying direction. Follow me, follow my room from now on. Now this huge party is not gone unnoticed. Here come the clergy, verse 30 the Pharisees and the scribes member scribes are there attorneys at Hebrew law. That's who they were the religious leaders and their attorneys. Here they come, and all that his disciples that it is interesting that in grandma Jesus are cowards but the guy grumbled to his disciples, saying that why do you drink with tax collectors and sinners knows why would you be caught dead in a crowd like this, so here's Jesus eating with the Godfather of Capernaum and the rest of his mom. Jesus know the trouble with Matthew doesn't he know the trouble this is going to cause by hanging around Matthew's friends all by the way, don't.

Don't worry about this. He's there going to drop Matthew eventually there only going to go to a party like this. Maybe once or twice and maybe you've experienced the same thing you do a leisure friends wanted to reach of the day they got ready you will be too much.

Jesus you're too fanatical. We know how long that hung around Matthew, but he was going to get them into his house at least once in all Jesus overhears these, you know, religious leaders, grumbling.

He delivers a rather brilliant response to verse 31 and Jesus answered them, those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, this analogy.

Jesus is essentially saying that after who goes to see Dr. you see a doctor. I don't go to see a doctor to when you're by debt may need out. So spend their time around sick people.

If you're feeling great.

You put off that annual units on the Bible anyway so you're not going unless you start to feel a little strange, so is Dr. Hanger sick all and then the Lord is essentially saying look I know I know about Matthew is Matthew needed a heart transplant on the only doctor I'm calling all of them in here to repentance.

See the problem with you man religious man. As you know, you think your righteous thing there sooner think the righteous are going to repair say no sinners are right and ready see in this context. Jesus uses the word righteous with a little sarcastic irony, righteous basically means right with God. So he saying here. People who think they are right with God because are just better than other people.

People who think the right with God.

Because of that really don't want anything to do with God, and are not to be interested in repenting and following God, they're just gonna look but on the other hand, I think Jesus as he says in over 30 what I think is just waving his hand around the room. Notice those who are well at no need of a physician, but those who are sick. They're the ones in their aware that their broken hopeless and sinful that all the candidates reception. So Jesus tells these religious leaders you don't realize it, but you just happen to walk into the waiting room of the divine physician or a lot of sick people and some of them no they need a Savior only pull from the scene a couple of timeless lessons are true.

First of all, we put it this way. No unbeliever is ever beyond the reach of redemption. No unbeliever is ever beyond the reach of redemption. If anybody was beyond the reach.

It was this callous tax collector. The conversion of Matthew is going to set Tom's wagon you will you is following Jesus that Jesus was a little off because we just want to visit the site but is hanging this week. Return trainer on his feet all the synagogue and who knows how long he is converted to this rep remind me a little of story I read about and a lady to me after the first service who admit this man, which is little girl named Jimmy Voss, a former Army sound engineer who joined the Mafia in Los Angeles working for the police as an undercover agent wiretapping the homes of syndicate leaders like Mickey Cohen and others in informing but then he flipped an attorney. Double agent began working for the mob informing them of the movements of the police. So the mob could stay one step ahead 19 Jimmy Voss was invited to a tent crusade in Los Angeles and a relatively unknown evangelist.

At that point in time by the name of Billy Graham and their 1949 after hearing Billy Graham preached the gospel he gave his life to Jesus Christ and left the mob and it was headlines. You can read them. Matthew's that kind of disciple is all the wrong connections wrong reputation the wrong past that I reserve for this moment. Any comment on his names. I have called in Matthew. For the most part is that's been his choice but his name appears here in Luke's gospel, and also in Mark's gospel chapter 2 verse 14 as is Levi now was uncommon in the Lord's day for people to have two names you'll encounter them often is as you read the gospel. Matthew was his Greek name. I think that was what we could call his street name. It's it's likely he adopted it to keep from being identified with his past. His heritage the try of leaf. There's more, it would be customary in that day, even as it is to this day he was given the name Levi by his father Alpheus he would be given that name in honor of Jacobs third saw faithful son man to go all way back to Exodus chapter 32 Moses up on getting the law that all people in day long. Enter bowing down before a golden For Levi and his son. They stood through that would begin this this this foundation we would know is this tribe's priestly tribe. They were faithful to to the Lord so so this this tax collector has has a legacy built into his name, but somewhere along the line, he became a product little boy named in honor of devotion to God through lot devoted to the Dalton task is chasing you all. He will betray his family legacy's name is nation name Levi will be a constant reminder of the birthright he'd sold in order to work for Rome to turn around and steal from his own people.

I don't want that one author wrote to be a tax collector for Rome with a name like Levi was a walking contradiction daily. He would have heard the insults of this people hurled at him. You are a disgrace to your name, your new they were right somewhere with the mother and a father whose hearts were grieving somewhere in Levis past he had forsaken them. Maybe it's been a long time since he'd spoken to them, he'd walked away from them is nation and their God. But then along comes Jesus. Jesus's been watching knows all about. He knew he knew Matthew was tired of this deception. He was unfulfilled by his greed. He he was guilt ridden by his sin and Jesus comes sense family can affect wrote it on my Jesus did not save him in passing, Jesus saved him on purpose, just like you saved you and me. Matthew will become a faithful disciple. By the way, he wrote the gospel of the begins of the New Testament right the gospel of Matthew. It's interesting to me that Matthew never refers to himself as Levi. It's almost as if I thought about her. I could be wrong but you pay me to use my imagination so my imagination would say that he kept his street name is a testimony.

You know I never really was like Levi, I didn't have that kind of life I was I was this Gentile is a Gentile, I, II belong to the Roman Empire. I sold out to them and I want people to continue to remember my street name is Jesus. This is when Jesus this is my test. No unbeliever is ever beyond the reach of redemption. We give you another. Secondly, and finally no believer is ever exempt from the responsibility of efficient manner. You say you know more in a few days. These these fish these planning his first evangelistic outreach dinner Karen out the synagogue will bring them here invites all that was so you get rid of his friends. Again, no probably were there for now, getting rid of them is he's reaching out to and I would think you know maybe a good idea that if you wait a little while, you know, get a little more grounded.

It's a good Bible class and get a little more theology mean, who knows what is going to say we would be great if the Lord Santa.

Some of those rough edges off this this this this this godfather. Do you really want him, you know, introducing Jesus is somebody slow down know the Bible says let the redeemed are say so you say so just tell people the road on this road you you you are doing and Jesus came not doing that, you're perfect you depend on his grace every day, and only today I was heading this way now heading this will. Matthew never got over his conversion. You see the same kind of excitement to children having to I love it there so courageous they just have the basics down and thoroughly talking about. I member when my twin sons were in second grade attending the public school in Raleigh. One of them had to write a paper for the second grade teacher and I don't know the project was but he alerted me to the fact that he turned around very bottoming given a little paragraph on the gospel and he ended it by saying if you want to get say call my dad put me on notice.

I imagine being a teacher getting paper from second graders is to get say I got just the person adopting innocence is Matthew you know that's what he's doing here you know everything the basics. What he did know is what they needed because he had chasing his face of the and introduce them to the great physician who healed and so had forgiven this.

I hope today's time in God's word has encouraged today. You've been listening to Stephen Devi in his daily Bible message here on wisdom for the heart. Today's message came from Stephen's exposition through a portion of a link in addition to being our teacher on this program statement is also the president of shepherd's theological seminary. How would your life be impacted if you set aside one year to study God's word experience authentic community growing discipleship studying in Israel and earn your Masters degree in theological studies, shepherd's theological seminary, has a program that does all of that called shepherd's Institute. It's an exciting and unique program that offers that experience is a link to the school on our website which is wisdom online.thanks again for joining us today.

Be with us next time. Furthermore was

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