A slow read through Mark's gospel has given me cause to pause, pray and study more thoroughly over certain texts. This morning I came across Levi's (Matthew) conversion in Mark 2:13-17.
Typically I've read about the conversion story and only given consideration to just that - his conversion.
Jesus's call "Follow me" is astounding and Matthew's immediate response to do just that is even more surprising and moving.
Yet, notice what is written after this in verse 15:
"And as He [Jesus] reclined at table in His house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many who followed Him."
You'll remember that Matthew was a tax collector - a corrupt and untrustworthy position to hold in society. Read more here. As the case for most, he had colleagues and business associates he regularly rubbed shoulders with.
Apparently the change Matthew experienced in His life made such a profound impact, his fellow tax collectors and other sinful associates followed suit and became Christ followers themselves. This causes me to reflect on a reality not just applicable for Matthew.
Are there people only we can reach?
No, I'm not saying we're the ones doing the conversion work. Scripture is clear - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself..." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). God is the orchestrator and sovereign over one's conversion to become a Christian.
Yet, there are people in each of our lives that only we, as Christians, have contact with. Perhaps those folks have more opportunity to connect with a Christian in the western world rather than our context in Japan. But maybe not. And the truth is we don't know because we're not asking them if they know other Christians typically. So, our impact through living out the gospel and sharing it is deeply meaningful. And there is a chance you may be their only link to Jesus.
Who are those people only you can reach?
Be a Matthew. Invite them to dinner. Introduce them to Jesus via His Word and your life. Be blessed.