As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9 (NLT)
Matthew. A tax collector. He was hated by the people because he worked for Herod and Herod taxed the people heavily. On top of that, it was widely thought that the tax collectors charged more than was needed to skim extra off the top for themselves. Matthew would have been ostracized by his community. He would have been despised.
Somewhere along the way though, he met Jesus. He probably wanted to spend more time with him but anyone would have known that he would not be accepted. He wouldn't pass muster. Look at his career choice and the way he lived his life. Certainly not that of a disciple. So he went back to work and believed that anything more wasn't for him.
Jesus walked by and said "Follow me." Notice, he didn't say follow me and I will provide everything, give you a new career and make sure life goes smoothly. All he said was "Follow me." Matthew then had a choice. He could sit in his tax booth, continue to become more and more wealthy and live life in status quo or he could get up and follow. He chose to get up and follow.
In each of our hearts God puts a longing. He puts a longing for something more, for something better. He doesn't lay out the plan so we will feel safe. As a matter of fact, he usually doesn't share any details. He doesn't promise that everything is going to be fine but he extends the invitation anyway because he knows in the end, it will be perfect.
Matthew needed to choose. He needed to step out of his comfort zone and step into the unknown. He needed to know what he wanted more: status quo or to follow Jesus.
Each of us has to make this choice. Will you or will you not follow Jesus? One will keep you safe and secure; the other will be an unpredictable adventure. One will leave you feeling empty. The other will fill you up in ways you can't even describe. So which is it? Will you say yes to the invitation?