Jesus Came for “That Kid”
Have you earned the reputation as “that kid”? Do you spend more time in the principal’s office than you do in the classroom? Possibly you are setting a record in after-school detentions. Have you stolen money from the backpacks in the classroom? Maybe you’ve been kicked out of your school for throwing things at your teacher.
There’s a story in Matthew chapter 9 about “that kid.” Back in Bible times, nobody liked tax collectors. They made people pay more than was owed and kept the extra money for themselves. Everybody considered them to be cheaters.
“When Jesus was leaving that place, he saw a man sitting in a tax office. The man’s name was Matthew. Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me!’ So Matthew got up and followed him. Later Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house. Many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard that, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor; those who are sick do. Learn what this means: “I want mercy, not sacrifices.” I’ve come to call sinners, not people who think they have God’s approval’” (Matthew 9:9-13).
By telling Matthew to follow him, Jesus let everyone know that God had great plans for “that kid.” Matthew the tax collector became Matthew the disciple, who then invited all his “that kid” friends to meet the One who would die on a cross for their sins.
When you feel like “that kid,” remember that Jesus came for you, he lived for you, and he paid the price for your sins. Now he walks up to you and says, “Follow me.” You are his disciple.