By Pastor Angela Kimaru
The news these days is laden with COVID-19 matters. The pandemic has affected everything! The economy, our education systems and more personally, our careers, relationships and marriages. Truth is, even our faith has been affected! It’s as if things are stuck.
You may relate. Things in your life are going wrong and you’re stuck. Your business has been wiped out, despite believing in and following God. You have followed all the right teachings but your marriage is still falling apart. You can tell you are drifting from God. Or maybe you feel stuck because you do not think you deserve to be anywhere near God. You have pretty messed up things in your life and you believe this renders you unqualified to be in the presence of God.
Well…. This series is for you. This month we get UNSTUCK. No easy feat, but happily for us, we have the One who is in the business of freeing people who are stuck.
For example, Matthew was a man reviled and ostracised by his society. Viewed as a ‘licensed robber’, he was a despised outcast. Tax collectors were the undisputed scum of the earth because they collected taxes on behalf of the Roman government, but they extorted far and above what was owed. Jews hated them. Imagine how he must have felt then, when Jesus reached out to Him.
The calling of Matthew is recorded in Matthew 9:9-13 (NIV)
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
No insults, shaming or hate- just a simple ‘Follow me.’ An open invitation to belong, to be a part of the great Rabbi’s inner circle. He stood up and followed without second thought.
A Rabbi dining with Tax Collectors. Unheard of!
In dining with Matthew and his ‘sinner’ friends, Jesus had broken the code of conduct. A whole Rabbi was dining with traitors and the lowest of the lowest! It was unheard of.
But our God was never one to be stopped by a person’s background or broken societal standards. He was extraordinarily comfortable with people who weren’t anything like him and people who were nothing like Jesus were comfortable with him. Look at the disciples for instance. We have a tax collector, a thug in Judas and of course, Peter the gangster (I mean who walks around with a knife in their pocket?). Yet it is through these men (and the rest of the apostles) that the Gospel was spread to the corners of the earth. Encountering the power of Jesus made them unstoppable. It got them unstuck.
You too can experience this freeing power. The disciples’ backgrounds and differences did not stop Jesus from extending His invitation to them and neither do your own backgrounds or weaknesses.
Risk it all and follow Him!
Jesus is eager to dine at your table. He still calls for you despite your falling short. Jesus openly welcomes you. You never have to worry about being the outsider. In Him, your life has meaning! So do like Matthew, risk it all and follow Him!
- Your background does not stop Jesus from calling out to you. Accept His invitation today.
- Jesus’ simple invitation to follow Him is the most accurate picture of the Christian journey.
- As the church we must partner with the Lord for the sake of those who are stuck.
- Being a sinner does not disqualify you from following Jesus. It is a prerequisite.
- Jesus’ invitation to follow Him is an open invitation to relationship.
- In Jesus your life has meaning!
Pastor Angie Kimaru is a Lead Pastor of Mavuno South and an Executive Pastor for the Mavuno Movement in Charge of Discipleship. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Religious Studies and a Master of Arts in Christian Counselling. She is passionate about seeing people live out their full potential in Christ.
Click here to watch the full message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FzHJTAqt8Y