Matthew's meal (Matthew 9:9-14)

Matthew made a meal so that his friends could meet Jesus and his disciples. Right away we can see a remarkable change in Matthew’s outlook, and the features of the change are connected to expressions of love. No doubt Matthew liked his friends before but he would not have previously wanted them to meet Jesus and his disciples. Now he wanted his former companions in sin to meet the Saviour he had found. So there was a love for unsaved sinners in the heart of Matthew.
Moreover, Matthew also wanted to get to know the disciples of Jesus, which is an expression of brotherly love, and such love is the evidence of new life. One of those disciples later said that we know we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Such love is a great evidence of true conversion and is therefore necessary for assurance. An astonishing element of Matthew’s expression of brotherly love is that it commenced on the day of his conversion.
One of the striking details in this description concerns how relaxed Jesus was in such company. He was reclining with the others in the room. Imagine a stranger had been told, ‘God has come to Capernaum.’ The stranger might say to himself, ‘I wonder who he is meeting with.’ Imagine his surprise to be told that the Lord was relaxing in a room full of sinners. Of course, he was glad to be there to tell them about his great salvation.

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