January 28, 2016

WHAT CAN FAITH DO FOR YOU?

Matthew 9:9–17

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Jesus Calls Matthew

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesus1 reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

A Question About Fasting

14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast,2 but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

Footnotes

[1] 9:10 Greek he
[2] 9:14 Some manuscripts add much, or often

WHAT CAN FAITH DO FOR YOU?



Key Verse | Matthew 9:13

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him. (Matthew 9:9)

"Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9:13)

Bio | Grace Sedberry

Hi, I’m Grace Sedberry. I have two younger brothers, Sam (12) and Witt (7). I love to play volleyball, the clarinet, read, go to Wake (the junior high ministry at Watermark) and small group, bake, be outside, hang out with friends, and go on vacations with my family.

Central Truth

Having faith in the Lord can give you confidence to know that He has a plan for you. Then, there's no need to be controlling, and you don't have to find your worth in what others think of you. (That's freedom!)

Devotional | Matthew 9:9–17

Let's say you have a job that allows you to use your gifts and earn a lot of money. What would it take for you to be willing to leave it?

In Matthew 9, Jesus asks Matthew to do just that. Jesus calls Matthew to follow...

Let's say you have a job that allows you to use your gifts and earn a lot of money. What would it take for you to be willing to leave it?

In Matthew 9, Jesus asks Matthew to do just that. Jesus calls Matthew to follow Him. Matthew immediately leaves his post at the tax collector’s booth and follows Jesus. Matthew has full faith in what Jesus asks of him.

I, on the other hand, find it hard to put faith in what the Lord asks me to do. It's hard for me to believe that His plan is going to work out. James and John show similar faith when Jesus asks them to leave their jobs as fisherman and follow Him (Matthew 4:21-22). I tend to put trust in how I perform or in what others think of me, and I try to control what goes on around me. Instead, Matthew, James, and John show me how I can put my confidence in Jesus and let go of my effort to control things. My performance doesn't matter to Him, but my heart does.

When Jesus chooses Matthew to be one of His 12 disciples, it seems like He wants us to question why He is with a “tax collector” (see also Luke 19:1-10). He is showing us that having compassion toward others is more important than acting religious (see Matthew 9:13). I need this reminder from Jesus that how I treat others matters most, not what others think about me. I should love others because He first loved me.

Two summers ago, I went on a Watermark discipleship trip called Dallas Experience. At the end of each day, we could give "Ross Rewards" to our peers if they acted in a way that stood out to us. I found myself serving to get those rewards. I wanted others to notice my "servant heart" throughout the day. Later on in the week, I figured out that I could receive great joy from loving on others without getting affirmation for my actions. Knowing that I shared God's light and love with others was enough. My identity is found only in the Lord.

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Discussion Questions

1. What would you do if Jesus asked you to immediately change your circumstances and follow Him?

2. If you had a job where you used your gifts and earned a lot of money, would you be willing to leave it to follow Him? What would keep you from doing so?

3. Are you more concerned about "the law," as the Pharisees were, or the condition of your heart and how you show compassion and serve the Lord? Is acting in a religious manner more important than following Jesus regardless of what His Word asks of you?

4. Do you struggle with seeking the approval of others? In what ways can you turn your focus to living out God's love toward others?

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