As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's booth; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him.
Insights: Little River Baptist Church is participating with “My Hope with Billy Graham” for his final crusade. This week’s Thoughts by Scott come from a sermon the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) suggested pastors preach to their congregations as a preparation tool for this crusade in November. The sermon is titled Matthew and Friends. The BGEA have identified four barriers many people presume to be true about witnessing. Matthew’s story found in his gospel addresses these barriers. Barrier 1: People are not interested in the gospel of Christ and will not respond. Jesus looked deeply into Matthew’s lonely life and spoke to him. Lost people are lonely whether they have identified this reality or not. God created them for a relationship with Him and there is a void in their life until He fills it. That loneliness creates pain and hurt. Jesus looked past the superficial when He looked at Matthew and saw a lonely individual that wanted to be saved. This statement is true of most lost people. Matthew followed Jesus immediately and invited others: the poor, the tax collectors, and sinners. In today’s verse we see Matthew positively responding to Jesus. He was truly interested in what Jesus had to say and responded by following Him and leaving his profession. People try to hide their needs so others do not see them. But Jesus sees, and He knows how to help those who are hurting. We are a people that wear masks. We pretend to the world that everything is fine in our lives, but down deep we are desperately sinking in our sin. Even Christ-followers fall prey to this vile game of pretend. Jesus knows that we are still attempting to hide from Him and cover our sin as Adam and Eve did in the garden. Their fig leaves did not cover up their sin and neither do our masks. Beloved, because Jesus is the need every human being has, don’t prequalify people and say, “(insert name) is not interested” or “(insert name) will not respond.” Rather be like Jesus and just invite others to follow Him. You be the instrument of proclamation and leave the results to the Holy Spirit and His convicting power.
- Have you bought into the lie that people are not interested in the gospel of Christ and will not respond?
- Are you willing to repent and start living life Jesus’ way and begin telling others about the gospel?
Prayer: Father, we humans set up all kinds of barriers, excuses or lies as to why will not witness to other people. Forgive me when I let one of these barriers prevent me from sharing Your love. Increase my boldness and grant me opportunities to share Your gospel. Amen.