SAVE THE DATE! Day of His Power • 8 Aug • 8pm
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2024
Day 9 / 09.07.24 / Pastor Ian Toh, Founding Pastor of 3:16 Church

Day 9: Reach out to the last, least and lost

Matthew 9:9-12 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. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

Most of us are not unfamiliar with the story of the prodigal son.

In fact, Matthew’s story – Jesus’ disciple – is a story of a prodigal son.

Matthew was a tax collector. A tax collector was one of the most hated roles in the Jewish community. They betrayed their own people because they sold themselves to the Romans and worked for the Roman empire. 

All of them had bought the rights to collect taxes from the Romans. The more taxes they collected, the more money they could pocket. They were seen as robbers and traitors.

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. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.’” (Matthew 9:9-12)

Matthew opened his heart to Jesus and was made new. This traitor, sinner and robber actually became Jesus’ disciple. 

Not only that, the Gospel written by Matthew became the first book in the New Testament. Indeed, the last shall be first. 

What was ranked last by people was ranked first by Jesus. Matthew, though considered as last by people, became an important disciple of Jesus.

Look with eyes of healing, not judgement

We want to see Singapore saved. We need to reach people whom community and religious leaders consider impossible to save, and share the Gospel with them.

We need to believe that those we consider unsavable can indeed be saved, and they can be useful for God after experiencing Christ. The last will be the first. 

The Pharisees did not understand Jesus’ heart. What they saw was a sinner undeserved of saving. 

Even today, many look at others with eyes of judgement, but Jesus looks at people with eyes of healing.

Matthew, though considered as last by people, became an important disciple of Jesus.

Not only did Matthew open his heart, he also opened his home. He invited many friends from similar backgrounds to meet Jesus together. 

If we want to Turn Singapore Godward, we need to pray and believe that those who are ostracised by society can be saved, and they can then share the Gospel, like Matthew. 

Don’t look down on those who appear to be the last because, with Jesus, they can bring many outsiders of the church to Christ.

Let us bow and pray:

Dear God, we come before You in repentance because we often do not have the courage to share the Gospel when we see people like Matthew. Lord please forgive us, give us faith, and make us strong and courageous to bring many people like Matthew to Christ. 

Lord, we pray that many Matthews will come to be saved. May You grant us mercy and turn Singapore Godward. We pray together in one heart and one mind.

We pray all these in Jesus’ name, Amen!

/ Reflect
  • Look around you. Who are the people you see whom society has deemed unsavable and lost? Consider how they are a part of Singapore, too. How would Jesus view them?
  • What are some ways your church can reach out to the last and the least in your community, helping them feel seen and cared for? 
  • “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Matthew 9:12) How can you pray to ask God to help you take the more difficult route to preach to the “sick”, rather than the healthy?
/ Pray
  • Pray that, as you share the Gospel, your listeners may turn from darkness to light by the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to use you to reach your circles, your city and beyond for their salvation and His glory. “I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).
  • Pray that God will touch your heart, so that you long for the salvation of every person in every nation. Ask for the Holy Spirit to show you how to help people hear and understand His sacrifice on the cross and His precious offer of redemption.
  • Ask for faithfulness to endure in prayer for those who have heard the Gospel but have not yet received it. Ask for whatever is blocking their minds to comprehend the futility of going their own way and the blessing of embracing the life-giving Saviour.