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. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:9-13)
Do you know people who at one time in their life were zealous for God—And then something happened? Something serious enough occurred in their life that broke their spirit and they to a large degree stopped working to build God’s kingdom.
Levi, called Matthew, was a disciple of Jesus and the writer of the first gospel. He was the son of Alpheus. He was originally named Levi, our Lord Jesus changed his name to Matthew, which means in Hebrew ‘the gift of Yahweh.’ He was a native of Galilee and engaged in the town of Capernaum as a publican or tax-gatherer for Herod Antipas.
The name Levi leads us to believe that he was a priest or Levite—In the book of Numbers we read that this tribe was selected by our God (Adonai Yahweh) to be His servants on behalf of all the Israelites. They were to work in the Temple.
So, what happened that caused Levi to walk away from his ordained position of serving the living God—You talk about the full extreme of walking away. He took on one of the most hated positions of the Jewish people – a tax collector. And then he met Jesus—and it threw his world into a quandary. Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as Rev. Fred Mast shares an inspired message entitled “I Saw the Light”.
Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30am featuring meaningful and uplifting music, special times of prayer and passionate life changing messages designed to move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and others. We also offer an amazing Spirit Filled On-Line Worship experience each week accessed at www.sedonaumc.org.
Sedona UMC offers several weekly book and bible studies: Tuesday’s @ 2PM Adult Studies at “The Gathering Place” in West Sedona; Wednesday’s Men’s Bible Study at 9am; and Thursday’s Women’s Bible Study at 9:45am. We offer so many great missions, ministries, and fellowship opportunities at Sedona UMC—Visit our website at us on www.sedonaumc.org and “Like” us on Facebook.
We would love to pray for you! —Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. All are welcome at Sedona UMC—We look forward to seeing you!—Come and grow with us!