What I read today
Exodus 9-10; Psalm 30; Isaiah 30; Mark 2; 1 Corinthians 14
In Mark, we hear about the call of Matthew. Matthew, or Levi, was a tax collector. In our world, he might be compared to a debt collection agent. The guy who calls you on the phone and yells at you when you don’t have money to pay your bills.
Matthew would sit in a toll booth and collect the local taxes as people walked by. Rome didn’t really care if the tax collectors extorted extra out of people as long as they got what the Roman government was due in taxes. Many of the tax collectors took advantage of that and became rich at the expense of their own people.
To say that they were hated would probably be an understatement. They were considered the scum of the earth.
Yet Jesus walks right up to Matthew and says follow me.
Our past doesn’t bother Jesus. What we’ve done or said. How we’ve acted. Doesn’t matter. The only thing he cares about is our future. Our eternal destiny. Our relationship with him. All the rest doesn’t matter.
That’s exactly what cause the problems at Matthews house with the Pharisees. You see they believe that God’s grace and mercy only applied to those like them. Those who were high minded and obeyed the law. How in the world could this Jesus character not only call a tax collector into his group but then have dinner with a whole bunch of tax collectors and now they’ve even invited the prostitutes? How the heck does that work?
But Jesus didn’t care about their past. He only cared about their future. Just like he doesn’t care about our past either. He knows what we’ve done. He sees the people we’ve hurt and the mistakes we’ve made. He knows all about it. He just doesn’t care.
Put the past where it belongs. Look to the future. Better yet look to Jesus and focus on him and let him take care of the future.