Focus Passage: Matthew 9:9-13
Today we begin a study of what God can do for us by looking at a series of men in the New Testament. The Bible studies are simple and don't provide you with all the answers. My hope is that the questions will help you to just look at the Bible passage in a new light. Let me know if they are helpful in the comments.
I think that more than any other disciple, Matthew had a clear idea of how much it would cost to follow Jesus, yet he did not hesitate a moment. When he left his tax-collecting booth, he guaranteed himself unemployment. For several of the other disciples, there was always fishing to return to, but for Matthew, there was no turning back.
Two changes happened to Matthew when he decided to follow Jesus. First, Jesus gave him a new life. He not only belonged to a new group; he belonged to the Son of God. He was not just accepting a different way of life; he was now an accepted person. For a despised tax collector, that change must have been wonderful! Second, Jesus gave Matthew a new purpose for his skills. When he followed Jesus, the only tool from his past job that he carried with him was his pen. From the beginning, God had made him a record-keeper. Jesus' call eventually allowed him to put his skills to their finest work. Matthew was a keen observer, and he undoubtedly recorded what he saw going on around him. The Gospel that bears his name came as a result.
1. What past misdeeds would disqualify someone from your job? Elected office? The Supreme Court? The ministry?
2. What did Jesus tell Matthew to do? (9:9) What might you be willing to give up for Jesus?
3. What kind of people joined Jesus and His new follower for dinner? (9:10) What did the Pharisees think of Jesus' attendance at Matthew's social function? (9:11)
4. What did Jesus tell His listeners they needed to learn? (9:13) What did Jesus say He had come to earth to do? (9:13)
5. What changes took place in Matthew's life so that he could let Jesus in?
6. What dangers do we face when we befriend non-Christian
7. What would you change in your life so you could be closer to Jesus this week?