So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.
Of all the disciples of Jesus, Matthew made the greatest sacrifice as far as material possessions were concerned. He left his career, his livelihood. In a moment’s notice, he left everything he had to follow Christ.
I think he would have agreed with this statement from the apostle Paul: But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:7–8 NLT).
Matthew 9:9 tells us, As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him (NKJV).
However, Matthew modestly left out a little detail that Luke’s gospel fills in: So he left all, rose up, and followed Him (5:28 NKJV, emphasis added).
Matthew left a lot to follow Jesus Christ. When we really encounter Jesus, we will leave our old lives fast enough. Our old habits, standards, and practices will no longer appeal to us. We will gladly leave these behind.
Sure, Matthew lost a few things, but what he gained was far better. He lost a career and gained a destiny. He lost his material possessions and gained a spiritual fortune. And he lost his temporary security but gained eternal life. Matthew lost his emptiness and loneliness, and he found fulfillment and companionship.
Matthew gave up everything that the world had to offer and found Jesus
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