Lek Hackeri (Come, follow me)

Jesus wanted to be a rabbi. When he had finished his secondary schooling (Bet Talmud), he went to his local rabbi to ask to be taken on as his apprentice (Bet Midrash). The rabbi replied with two words: “Lek hackeri” (Come, follow me). Some fifteen years later, when he began his ministry, Jesus did not wait for people to ask to follow him. He seized the initiative and used the two words that his apostles never expected to hear. One such man was Matthew, the tax collector. His feast is celebrated on September 21.  

When Jesus was leaving, he saw a man named Matthew sitting in the tax collector’s booth. Jesus said to him, “Follow me,”and he stood up and followed Jesus.

As Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with Jesus and his followers. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked Jesus’ followers, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

When Jesus heard them, he said, “It is not the healthy people who need a doctor, but the sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I want kindness more than I want animal sacrifices.’ I did not come to invite good people but to invite sinners” (Matthew 9:9-13 – New Century Version).


  • What happens in this Gospel story? How does the call of Matthew apply to you? Have you ever heard Jesus calling you to follow him? How did you know that it was Jesus who called you? How did you respond? What did you do? 

  • Why does Jesus call Matthew? Why didn’t he call the Pharisees? Why did Matthew follow him “immediately”?

  • What are the consequences for those who choose to follow Jesus when he calls them?


  • What do you think about the story as it unfolds? If Jesus used Instagram or LinkedIn to call people, would you follow him? Why? Why not? 

  • What does your faith tell you about how Jesus calls people, what he calls people to do, and what to expect if you follow Jesus? 

  • In the ideal situation, what would change in the story you have read? What would be the consequences flowing from the decision to follow Jesus? 


  • What needs to change in the world so that people will always respond in the way Matthew did when Jesus calls them to join him in his ministry? 

  • What simple action can you take over the next week that will help people to respond wholeheartedly to Jesus’ call to follow him?

  • Who can you involve in this action and how will you go about involving them?

Author: Pat Branson

Image source: https://www.christiancentury.org/blog-post/ccblogs-network/surprising-call-of-matthew/






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