Monday, September 21, 2015

Why Matthew?

 "What reason can the Teacher have for eating with tax collectors and those who disregard the law?" Matthew 9:11
What possible reason did Jesus have for eating and drinking with tax collectors, these scum of the earth who betray their own people?!!!! This was the question posed to the disciples by the Pharisees. Obviously some of them had a high regard for Jesus. They called Him teacher, they listened to Him preach in the temple. Some even asked Him questions. But it puzzled them that He associated with the likes of Matthew the tax collector.
I like what is written in The Word Among Us today: "What did Jesus see specifically in Matthew that led Him to call him? How would this self-centered tax collector help Him bring about the Kingdom of Heaven? What specific gifts did He bring?

 "Maybe Jesus saw that Matthew had a stubborn persistence and persuasiveness. It can't have been easy to squeeze money out of people on a regular basis! Maybe it was his education; some people believe that the Gospel that bears Matthew's name is the most finely crafted and best written of them all."
Like Matthew, we too have gifts and talents that God sees because He is the source of it! He wants to call us, to use us, to accomplish His purposes through us. Are we open and willing like Matthew the tax collector to get up and follow Him?

 "If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all." Mark 9:35
Remain. That's the word that struck me in this passage. Being a servant should not be a one time thing. Being a servant, a helpful follower, an assistant, is not a role we put on today while we are at church or in our parish, and then relinquish when we are at work. Jesus told His disciples this because He noticed they were disputing about which of them was the greatest. Which of them was the most important, number 1, the top honcho. While reflecting on this, of course I realize how I am just like one of the disciples. I may not argue with someone about how important I am, but my actions will show how entitled I think I am. It can be depressing to think that after years of reading the Bible, and studying it, and meditating on it, the world has such a grasp on me that I cannot say I am the servant of everyone else!

Jesus continued teaching the disciples saying that, "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes Me, and anyone who welcomes Me welcomes the Father who sent Me." This does not seem connected to the first teaching, but it is definitely connected to what Jesus says in Matthew 25:31-46. Here, Jesus clearly says that when Judgement time comes, those who gave food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, hospitality to the stranger, food to the barely clothed, those who visited the sick and the imprisoned, shall receive the inheritance of Jesus' Kingdom. It is certainly a good "investment" to work on being a servant ALL THE TIME!

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1 comment:

  1. Very creative and super unique as always! I love how you put your spin on the the original photos! Thank you for playing along in the Word Art Wednesday Challenge! Have a blessed day!

    Charity - DT Member - Word Art Wednesday (my personal blog)


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