Rev. Peter Greiner
Sun 28 Jul
A stranger in a strange land is often a description used to describe the travels of Abraham as he sought to follow the Lord, at times not knowing where he was heading apart from putting his trust and faith in God who was directing his footsteps.
Maybe you have felt that way as a Christian. You feel like a stranger in a strange land. Or as Peter would describe the Christian as an alien living in this world. The vast majority of people who have come to Australia have come as strangers whether we are first generation or fifth generation, we or our ancestors came as strangers to this country.
When Jesus stopped by at a tax collector’s office, Jesus gave an invitation to the tax collector to come and follow Him. Just as God gave an invitation to Abraham to come and follow Him. Matthew himself would have felt like a stranger in a strange land. Certainly, he knew the land, but the occupants of the land would have treated him as stranger. The tax collector’s Jewish family roots would have treated him more than a stranger, he would be seen as a traitor. To the Roman occupying forces, he was no more than a contractor who collected taxes for them.
Along comes Jesus and does not treat him as a stranger but treats him as someone of worth. Jesus even asks Matthew to come and follow Him. When Jesus asked you to follow Him, how did you respond? Perhaps for the first time in his life, Matthew felt he was no longer a stranger in a land he knew well.