Written June 12, 2021
All this time,
I was under the impression,
that the Apostle Matthew
wrote this gospel account;
But now, while reading Chapter 9,
I thought it was strange
for Matthew to talk about himself
in third person.
The scripture says,
“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.”
When I read this passage I wondered,
“Why is Matthew writing in third person?”
And “Why is Matthew just now identifying himself?”
It’s already Chapter 9!
And then I remembered the show,
The Chosen, and I considered
how Matthew’s character is depicted
as being one who exhibits signs of autism.
I thought, “Well…maybe Matthew is using self-talk?”
Perhaps he doesn’t like pronouns and has a fuzzy sense of self?
I don’t know.
Maybe Matthew is writing in chronological order
based off his memory of Jesus’s life?
I don’t know the answer, so I googled it.
Apparently the author
is not completely known;
it could be the Apostle Matthew,
a tax collector who was one of the 12,
or it could be another person
who had a passion for evangelism.
Wikipedia says that “most scholars believe the gospel was composed between AD 80 and 90, with a range of possibility between AD 70 to 110; a pre-70 date remains a minority view. The work does not identify its author, and the early tradition attributing it to the apostle Matthew is rejected by modern scholars. He was probably a male Jew, standing on the margin between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values, and familiar with technical legal aspects of scripture being debated in his time.”
I don’t know enough
to make a definitive decision,
so I’ll just wait on the Holy Spirit.
The passage says,
“Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
In the past,
when I’ve heard messages on this,
the pastors teach about Jesus’s mercy.
But since Holy Spirit has put
the Maranatha cry in my heart,
I can’t seem to shake
“the sickness part.”
Right before Jesus said,
“I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor - sick people do.”
You SEE, we live in a different time.
Instead of our church leaders
condemning a person as the Pharisees did,
they teach a person all about self-love.
We have become like the drunkards of Ephraim:
Self-indulging in our own self- righteousness.
Today’s American gospel is just as twisted
as the beliefs of that time.
While theirs was based on laws,
regulations, and condemning attitudes,
ours is based on universal love,
no boundaries set by God,
a prosperity theology and absolutely
no fear of the Lord.
Jesus referred to the people around him as “sick” -
we must remember this!
He said he came to call those
who know they are sick,
not those who are sick but act like they are healthy!
You SEE, self-righteousness
prevents God’s mercy from changing us
because when pride hardens our heart
we think we know best!
“God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.”
“For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
The question I have is this -
Are you the humble sinner or the self-righteous proud?