9. CALLING OF MATTHEW (Matt.9:9-13)

BACKGROUND: Eating together was a sign of friendship for the Jews of Jesus' time. The publicans were looked down on by the religious people, because they were not honest with matters of money. Matthew is usually considered to be the man who wrote the gospel, which bears his name.
  1. Imagine the everyday life of Matthew, the tax collector. What were its good and bad points?
    • What do you think Matthew's relationship with God was like while he still was a tax collector?
    • What did Matthew perhaps expect Jesus to say, when he entered the tax collector's booth?
  2. Why didn't Jesus ask Matthew: "Do you want to become my disciple?"
    • How do you think Matthew felt when the famous teacher and miracle-worker asked him to be his follower?
    • Why did Jesus want to have a former tax collector as his disciple even when he knew perfectly well that he would be criticized for it?
    • Why does Jesus want you to become his disciple?
  3. What did his colleagues think when Matthew left his booth without even tidying up his desk?
    • How did Matthew have the courage to give up his regular job and income?
    • What did Matthew get instead of all the things he lost by following Jesus?
    • Jesus tells to you, perhaps for the first time in your life, perhaps for the hundredth: "Follow me!" What do you answer him?
  4. With Matthew, the father of the house believing in Jesus, how do you think the life of his wife and children changed?
    • Why did Matthew want to have a party for Jesus and his previous colleagues (vs.10)?
  5. What are the groups of the people in our society, with whom decent people don't want to associate?
    • Why did Jesus want to associate with all kinds of people?
  6. What did Jesus mean by verses 12-13?
    • Which of these two groups do you feel you belong: healthy or sick, the righteous or the sinners? (You can answer in your heart.)
    • In the light of this text, why do you think you have experienced illness and sin in your life?
    • Why is it sometimes easier to sacrifice something for God than to show mercy to one's neighbors (vs.13)?
  7. Why is it that Jesus, "the doctor", had to become bruised? Why did he, the only righteous one, have to be counted among sinners?

GLAD TIDINGS: Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for God - that is why God doesn't desire any other sacrifice from us except that we use our energy to serve our neighbors.

2012 Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com