Matthew the Follower


“MATTHEW THE FOLLOWER” (Matt. 9:9-13; Joshua 14:6)

Originally preached August 21, 2011

Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Retired Pastor


Today’s Special:  “Goldberg Brothers” .   

The four Goldberg brothers – Lowell, Norman, Hiram, and Max – invented and developed the first automobile air-conditioner.

On July 17, 1946, the temperature in Detroit was 97 degrees. The four brothers walked into old man Henry Ford’s office and sweet-talked his secretary into telling him that four gentlemen were there with the most exciting innovation in the auto industry since the electric starter.

Henry was curious and invited them into his office. They refused and instead asked that he come out to the parking lot to their car.

They persuaded him to get into the car, which was about 130 degrees, turned on the air conditioner, and cooled the car off immediately.

The old man got very excited and invited them back to the office, where he offered them $3 million for the patent.

The brothers refused, saying they would settle for $2 million, but they wanted the recognition by having a label – The Goldberg Air-Conditioner – on the dashboard of each car in which it was installed.

Now old man Ford was proud of the Ford name, and there was no way he was going to put the Goldberg’s name on two million Ford cars.

They haggled back and forth for about two hours and finally agreed on $4 million and that just their first names would be shown.  And so to this day, all Ford air conditioners show on the controls. Lo, Norm, Hi, and Max.

ILLUSTRATION:  Thuvia’s ID theft  The other day my wife received an email verifying her transaction of $68.13 from her Paypal account to someone named “Sari in Europe”.  The only problem is that she doesn’t have a Paypal account. AND the transaction route was from my checking account, not from Thuvia’s.   It took several hours to eliminate this transaction, but the emotional consequences were understandably many!

*  Which leads us to a good question –  What is YOUR ID:  are you a “fan” or “follower” of Jesus?

*  The phrase “Follow Me”  in Scripture will assist us in that answer!   Prayer

1.  Jesus loves the individual faith (Matt. 9:9ff)

a.  Ministry of vs. 1–7 viewed by the crowd (v. 8)

b. Ministry of v. 9 only to an individual (Matthew)

c.  “Follow Me” – Matthew knew this to mean:

1.  “Serve Me, and not Rome nor yourself”

2.  Hunger only for the Big Picture – My Glory

3.  My job is your job  (tax collecting, writing a book of compassion for my fellow Jews) (see Col. 3:23; 1 Cor. 10:31)

4.  Your ridicule is My ridicule (v. 10ff)

5.  Your invitation is my invitation (v. 10; Luke 5:27 identifies this as Matthew’s house)  (See also Matt. 11:28-30)

2.  Jesus loves the individual focus  (Josh. 14:6ff)

a.  Contrast in worship – Caleb was a “Kenizzite”, thus a descendant of Esau who represented the flesh and not the faith of Israel.  Caleb’s worship of the true God was seen in his representing the tribe of Judah.

b.  Contrast in walk – “if the Lord is with me”. Caleb said to Joshua, “It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them [the Anakim at Hebron] out as the Lord said.” Caleb was willing to exercise his faith because his focus was on God alone!


We call ourselves “people of faith”.  Based upon the accounts of Matthew and Caleb, how would we respond to these heart questions:

1.  I say “I follow Jesus” – am I still following my plan for my life, or is my plan surrendered to His plan?

2.  I say “I follow Jesus” – when people look at my home and my job, do they see Jesus on display, or me?

3.  I say “I follow Jesus” – am I looking for opportunities to include Him in my day?

4. I say “I follow Jesus” – like Caleb, am I looking for ways to exercise my faith?


                     Close in prayer