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The Master’s Mission.
“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw
a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of cus
tom; and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he
arose and followed him. And it came to pass, as
Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many pub
licans and sinners came and sat down with him and
his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they
said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master
with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard
that, he said unto them, They that be whole need
not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye
and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy,
and not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the
righteous, but sinners to repentance.”—Matt. 9:
Jesus had just healed the paralytic, consequently
a great crowd had gathered about him and marvelled
at his power.
Like every other character, Jesus impressed him
self more by what he did than by what he said. We
are not to understand by this that his sayings were
of less value than his work, on the contrary his
sayings furnished the basis for his works.
It is very important to keep this in mind. The
Christian church has relied too much upon its teach
ing. To get hold of the world’s heart, it is neces
sary to live, as well as to teach. God could have
taught this world without the incarnation, but to
live he must become man, and move in the affairs of
What we need today, in the church, is to get down
to ordinary life. Joseph Parker, the great Lon
don preacher, was once asked how he managed to
draw his crowd. His reply was: “You would un
derstand if you read my library.”
“Is it such a good one?”
“Oh, it’s good, bad, indifferent, grand and splen
did,” answered the mighty talker preacher. “It
is everything. It is in underground trains, on buss
es, in tea-shops, restaurants, churches, stations,
parties,- receptions, meetings, jubilees, sick beds,
prisons and boudoirs. The fact is, you can never
get away from it. We call it ‘human nature,’ for
want of a better name. 1 study it—that is why
I call it my library. Most men do not care anything
about it; they prefer musty books. But that is why
I am listened to, nevertheless.”
I wish every church could have heard Mr. Par
ker say this. I think there would be a little differ
ent standard required of the pulpit. Usually the
Reverend Doctor “Dry-as-Dust,” who talks well,
but touches nothing, is selected when the pulpit is
to be filled. I knew one man called to a very dis
tinguished church because the pulpit committee got
peep into his study and saw such a mass of beau
tiful books. They at once decided that he must be
a man of great power and learning, and such a man
If I had to advise such a committee, I would say,
“Look well at the character of those books. Hear
the man preach, and, above all, see his work.”
A Man Named Matthew.
Passing from the healing of the paralytic, Jesus
calls Matthew to be a disciple. Notice the account
of the call, and remember that it is Matthew’s ac
count of himself:
“As Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a
man, named*Matthew, sitting at the receipt of cus
tom.” Jesus saw a man. How significant. The
tendency is to ignore the man. Folks are now being
The Tabernacle pulpit
reckoned as numbers, mere tags, with one or more
The other day in one of our great factories, I
heard the superintendent say he knew no man in
that building. What he meant was this: Every
man in the building surrendered his identity when
he entered it. He ceased to be a man, and became
a figure, a numeral.
But we do not have to go io factories to find
the crushing out of individuality, it is getting to
be the common order of life. How few of us when
we jostle along in the great crowd ever think of
the man or the woman. Not infrquently we think
or the clothes that the man or woman has on. The
fact is, that seems to be about the greatest con
cern of the present day. It is “that hat,” “that
dress,” “that diamond,” or it may be the opposite.
It may be the lack of proper clothing; that is the
subject of comment.
What we want is to keep in mind the individual
ity of the man. Like Jesus beholding Matthew, we
want to behold the man, not merely his physical ap
pearance, but the man as he impresses us with pos
sibilities. Oh, if everybody was out in search for
this treasure we would soon have a new world.
The man Matthew’ had two names. One seems to
have been his Hebrew name, Levi, and the other his
Christian name, Matthew. The latter he seems to
have given himself. Doubtless it was taken as a
sort of memorial of that change through which he
passed when he got his new heart and life.
It was not uncommon in those days to find such
changes. Simon, son of Jonas, was transformed into
Peter. Saul of Tarsus became Paul. Joses the Syp
riot, was given the name of Barnabus.
At the time of Matthew’s call he was the collec
tor of customs at the port of Capernaum. This po
sition, while from the standpoint of responsibility,
was an important one, nevertheless, it was looked
upon with contempt by the so-called better classes.
It reminded them of their subjugation to Rome, a
thing which was very unpleasant. Publicans, there
fore, as these tax gatherers were called, were a
very obnoxious set.
Jesus was no stranger to Matthew. As collector
of toll by the lakeside, he had often seen him.
Doubtless, they had often talked together. I have
no doubt but that his mind had been previously
made up concerning Christ. It is not improbable
that he had followed him before, and that this call
was distinctly for discipleship.
The Great Feast.
We have been considering Matthew’s own account
of his call. Now let us consider his account of the
It is not called by him a great feast; modestly
prevents that. He simply says, “at meat.” Luke,
however, describes it as a “great feast.”
It was entirely proper that the new disciple should
take his Lord to his house. I know of no better thing
for a young Christian to do. A young lady some
time ago, who had just been converted, asked me
how and where she could do some Christian work.
I said: “Begin at home.”
“But,” said she, “I have no home.”
“Well,” said I, “take Jesus to your boarding
Matthew did the right thing. The tendency of the
home today is to crowd Jesus out. All other guests
are given a place but Jesus. We have got to have
a revival of home religion in this country. We are
never going to get the church very much higher than
the home. A home consecrated to Jesus Christ means
more in the uplifting of a community than any one
will ever be able to tell. We have got to come to
this, or our business, the very thing which now pre
vents Christ in the home, will be crushed.
It was also right and proper that Matthew
should give this feast.
1. It showed his appreciation of Jesus. In those
days certainly it was not customary to invite one to
dine unless he was welcome in every sense. Jesus
had called Matthew to accompany him in his cam
paign of salvation. Matthew unquestionably appre
ciated the opportunity, though it carried with it
hardship and self-denial.
The Golden Age for March 1, 190(>.
By Le n G . Broughton
I am glad to see a new Christian happy in service
for Jesus. It is so much better than to go moping
and mourning about what has been given up, and
how hard it is to live right.
2. It marked the beginning of his new life. It is
good to have some distinct mark at the end of the
life of unbelief and at the beginning of the life of
belief. I like to see a man who is able to go back
to the time when he first knew the Lord.
3. It furnished a good opportunity to show his for
mer friends and companions that his call had not
turned his head. He was the same old Levi in his
love and interest for his companions. He was even
more so, because he had gotten a new love from Him
who loved as never man loved.
It is a very easy thing for a man to get his head
turned when he enters a position of promotion. I
have known preachers and preachers’ wives and
their children to forget the crowd that they once
loved, and go after those that move in the upper
circle. I have often thought of Spurgeon in this
connection. A distinguished member of Parliament
once said to him:
“Mr. Spurgeon, why do you continue to preach
and do your work on the southside? If you were
on the northside you might be preaching to lords,
whereas, now you preach to the common people.”
Mr. Spurgeon’s reply was: “God, forbid that I
should turn my back upon the people that have
It took a great man to say this. At the same time
no man will become great who does not feel it.
4. It furnished an opportunity to introduce Jesus.
How wisely this was planned. Matthew is really an
example for soul-winners of much more experience,
iiow many of us ever planned for such a meeting?
1 was preaching in New York, and a woman be
came much exercised over the fact that she had
never won a soul to Christ. She decided to invite
certain unsaved friends to dine with her and go to
church. In this way she led six of them to Christ
in six days. Oh! that every professed Christian
would set to work some plan to introduce his un
saved friends to Christ.
The Critic Around.
But in spite of all Matthew’s planning, the critic
was abroad in the land. When the self-seeking,
common-people haling Pharisees heard of the feast,
they set themselves to the work of criticising. There
are always plenty of such around. It is the easiest
thing in the world to criticise work, especially if it
is live work. Nobody ever criticises a thing that
moves after the fashion of a funeral. But they
were not after Matthew in their criticisms; they
cared nothing for him. What they were after was
Jesus. Matthew could eat with all the publicans in
town, and nothing would be said. What they were
after was finding some fault with Jesus.
It is just so now. Do we realize it like we ought?
lam sure we do not. When a Christian goes wrong,
it is Jesus who suffers the criticism of the world.
Ofttimes this.very fact has been my greatest stay.
I cannot afford to bring reproach upon Jesus. He
does not deserve that kind of treatment. He de
serves the very best that my life can do for Him.
The criticism which they passed upon the occa
sion was this: ‘ ‘ Why eateth your master with pub
licans and sinners?” Observe that this question
was asked of Matthew, but answered by Jesus. It
is very important that it is so. It involves the issue
of his kingdom. From his answer we get his own
conception of his mission. Had Matthew answered
the question, it would have had less weight; indeed,
he might not have properly answered it if left to
himself without the inspiration of Jesus. Jesus’
answer forever settles the question. Oh, how signi
ficant; how little they knew about him and his
mission to men.
Let us now consider his answer. It may be divid
ed into three parts: an argument, an appeal and a
1. The Argument. “They that be whole need
not a physician, but they that are sick.” There is
(Continued on page 4.)