What's In Your Heart? - With Matthew the tax collector, Jesus saw beyond the outward appearance.
[Darris McNeely] When Christ looks at your heart, what does He see? As Jesus called His disciples, and individually picked those who would become the inner core of apostles and the twelve that He worked with during His ministry, Christ had the rare ability to look upon the heart, and that's an encouraging thing for you and I, to know that Christ looks upon the heart.
Let's look at one example of one of the disciples that He called. In Matthew – excuse me, in Mark 2:13 Mark 2:13And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted to him, and he taught them.
American King James Version×is the account of where He called Matthew the tax collector. "He went out again by the sea and the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. And He passed by and He saw a Levite, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, 'Follow Me.'" As He said to all of His disciples. "So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi's house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples, for there were many, and they followed Him. And the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with tax collectors and sinners, they said to Him, 'How is it that He eats with tax collectors and sinners in this way?' And He heard it" – Jesus – "and He said, 'Those who are well have no need of a doctor, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'"
A tax collector in this day was not a very likeable person in the eyes of the Jews, as the scribes here and the Pharisees say. They were reviled by the Jews because they raked in money for a foreign power, for Rome. And they also, many of them, inflated the taxes – they scraped off what they could for their own selves – and so they extorted money from the people as well. And so, people would not eat with them. For Christ to be eating with tax collectors and sinners – in the eyes of the Jews, this was all one big lot.
But Christ saw something in Matthew that the others didn't see. He didn't just see a tax collector for the hated Romans. He saw something that others missed. Christ looked at Matthew and He saw a man that He could train. No doubt, Matthew had certain innate qualities that kept him above the other tax collectors. And while we, and others, and you and I, can look upon the outward appearance, God looks on the heart. That's what He did with Matthew, and that can be an encouraging thing for you and I – that God looks upon our heart, when He calls us, and as He works with us, day in and day out, making us His disciples, as we yield to Him. We then take on that example, but Christ knows our heart – no matter what other problems we might have – just as He knew Matthew's heart.
The Old Testament in 1 Samuel 16:7 1 Samuel 16:7But the LORD said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.
American King James Version×– it says that God looks upon the heart. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God doesn't see as man sees, He looks on the heart. We can always, and should be, grateful that God looks on our heart. When He looks at yours, what does He see?
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.