Matthew 9:9-13
The Call to Follow Jesus

Matthew 9:9
"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."
--->Jesus saw something in Matthew, a tax collector for Rome and a pariah to his own people, that no one else saw.  Matthew quickly answered Jesus' call.
--->Be open to God's call on your life.

The Steps in Following Jesus
1)  Asking Jesus into your life
2)  Reading His words and praying to Him
3)  Obeying Him

Matthew 9:10-11
"While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?'"
--->Matthew made a great feast to honor the Lord and His disciples.
--->Due to Matthew's status in society, he only had friends and aquaintances that were considered   outsiders, sinners and traitors.
***Jesus didn't preach before Caesar
***He didn't debate philosphy with the scholars
***He didn't appeal to the rich and famous
***He chose men and women to follow Him who were forgotten or castaways of society

Matthew 9:12-13
"On hearing this, Jesus said, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn  what this means:  I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'"
--->Jesus is saying that He is more pleased with acts of benevolence and kindness than with external  compliance of the duties of religion.

John 1:11-12
"He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet, to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

***The call was for Matthew, and for all of us:  sinners, "the sick", in need of the Great Physician.
***Disregard the taunts and lies of Satan.  Never forget that the devil is the father of lies.
***We Christians are mocked and hated by many for our faith; but it is God (their and our Creator)  whom we serve, not the ever-changing tides of the impulsive trends in society.
***Do not be blinded by legalistic and ritualistic "traditions".  Christ's actions and teachings made Him  an enemy of the Pharisees, the religious elite, who claimed that they had a special relationship with Yahweh, yet were unable to see God standing right in front of them.
***"Friends" who abandon friends who give their life to Christ are not true friends.  Allow God to put   people in your life to fellowship with, and those to whom you can witness to.