Jesus saw a man called Matthew... and he said to him, "Follow me". And he rose up and followed him.
Imagine you are in a thick forest with no obvious path. It would be easy to get lost. But when you have a guide he just says 'follow me' and you can relax and enjoy yourself. The story in Matthew 9:9 tells us about a man who was lost but then a guide came along and said 'follow me', and the man's life was changed for ever. Matthew was the lost man, Jesus was the guide, and the story tells us how we too can be saved from our lostness in sin to be changed for ever.
First of all we have to heed what Jesus says to us — he knows all about us, even the worst about us — that is how he knows we need to be saved. Then we need to obey what Jesus says. What did Matthew do? He rose and followed Jesus. That is just what we must do. Look again at that word 'rose'. It's an interesting word. It is associated with new beginnings, new life, just like the resurrection. Jesus is calling us to a new life. Luke tells us that Matthew left everything and followed Jesus (Luke 5:28) A new life indeed, turning his back on the old life to become an apprentice of Jesus, to live for him, serve him, love him and tell others about him Jesus says to us, 'follow me'. What will we do about that?
Lord Jesus, help me to follow you humbly and faithfully, Amen