Bible Verse: “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.” (Matthew 9:9)

Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:9-13

Have you ever wondered, what it would be like to meet Jesus in real-life… apart from the sandals and the long hair?

Matthew was a tax collector, at work, in the middle of his day. A remarkable man, Jesus, came up to him and said, “Follow me.” And, he did! A few hours later he was hosting Jesus and his entourage for dinner, in his own home. What was it in that brief encounter that impacted Matthew so deeply that he could consider closing-up shop and ending such a lucrative career?

The Gospel stories are filled with examples of people who met Jesus for the first time. Some came to Jesus wanting something: they were sick, destitute, mentally unstable, and even demon possessed. These were very broken people. Then, there were the religious professionals, those who were interested, or the curious. Others were ordinary people who happened to be there. He drew quite a crowd. Everyone was welcome. None were turned away.

Imagine yourself, meeting Jesus for the first time. What if you suddenly met him in a bar, at a café, or on the street? What would it be like? How would it go? What do you think your first impressions might be?

I am convinced that you would like him. Almost everybody did. Instinctively, your initial response would be surprisingly positive. He did not put on “airs”. He was authentic, a man of the people. Even broken people knew that Jesus was safe, approachable. Was it his body language, or the look in his eyes? Whatever it was, you would want to meet him.

Even more surprising? You would find that he was eager to meet you. Imagine that. He had been looking forward to meeting you. He wasn’t going to brush you off or act as if you weren’t in his league. He would tell you that he wanted to spend time with you, get to know you and do things you both love to do.

In fact, you would quickly discover that he really loves you. As awkward as that sounds, it wouldn’t be. Spending time with Jesus did not seem to lead to those awkward moments we often get when meeting new people. You know, when the small talk is over, you look at your watch and move on.

So, have you met him? Imagine, the King of all creation is wanting to spend time with you. He wants to meet you and is inviting you to go on an adventure that transforms your world. Interested? There’s no need to make an appointment. Ask, and you can meet him today.

— Paul Kroeker, author, in In the Way of Jesus

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