Lord, give us a living knowledge of sin, a living faith, and a saintly life. Amen.
Matthew 9, 9-13. And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew was called to follow Jesus as one of his apostles, and was to go out with the preaching of the word; we are called to follow him as disciples who receive his instruction, and walk in his steps, yet without leaving our earthly vocation. “Follow me,” he says to us. “Follow me in obedience to the Father, in humility and love and self-denial, in truth and purity, in holiness and patience; become like unto me in mind and conduct, in your every relation toward God and man.” He has left us an example, that we should follow his steps. Our Christianity is a falsehood and a delusion, if we do not follow Jesus. Now, dear reader; do you follow the Savior? Is it your care above all things to walk with him, and be like him? Does your failure to follow him as you ought give you pain; and do you improve from day to day? All believers follow Jesus, though even the best among them fall far short of his perfection. “He has many followers in his obedience and suffering, but no companions.” Are you one of those who follow Jesus?
We begin to follow Jesus when we come to know our sin, and when we find healing in his wounds; and we continue to follow him when we desire and believe in his pardoning grace. They that be whole need not a physician. Only such as suffer, and are troubled by their sins, come to Jesus, and abide with him. The physician is for the sick; Jesus is for sinners. They who make the sacrifice for themselves, and need no mercy, will never become the Savior’s disciples ; for he is the servant of mercy, and the king of mercy; and they only who submit themselves to the law of mercy are citizens of his kingdom. When you see yourself as a lost sinner, and Jesus standing in your stead before God, you place yourself under him, and use him as your shield; and then you also follow him. By faith in his name you receive his Spirit, and live his life. He who has his righteousness in the wounds of Jesus, healing in his blood, salvation in his grace, life in his love, will surely also have his delight in following the Savior, and will have strength to do this in free obedience. But lie who does not know Jesus as the Savior of lost sinners, and does not live every day of his grace, is and remains in bondage, outside of the fellowship of God’s children, and without childlike obedience and true holiness. Rejoice, you needy sinner, who have no healing save in the wounds of Jesus! He has drawn you to him. and draws you after him to that place, where you shall be perfectly pure and holy.
Lord Jesus, give us humble, believing, and willing hearts; and let it be seen in all our conduct, that we are thy followers. Precious Savior, grant us this blessing. Amen.
Lord, to thee I now surrender
All I have, and all I am:
Make my heart more true and tender.
Glorify in me thy name.
To thy will be all my aim.