Towards the end of his time with his disciples Jesus told them something that would carry them through the rest of their lives, come “hell or high-water” they would have these words to stabilize themselves: “You do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” 1 Chosen! Chosen! Chosen?
How did they qualify to be chosen? By daring to act on the revelation they received!
Matthew had been a hated tax collector and he was probably quite wealthy but when Jesus invited him to leave it all to follow him, he didn’t hesitate. He saw and he willingly followed. Faith collided with his life and he rearranged his life to fit; he chose the way of faith and now the master of faith had chosen him. It still works like that. If we won’t modify our lives to accommodate our faith we never get to be chosen. We must do something with the things shown to us or their true value escapes us. It is likely the other disciples weren’t exactly excited about Matthew joining them. They had opinions about paying taxes and stronger opinions about thieving tax collectors! Tax collectors were the lackeys of the Roman occupiers! Despised traitors! Read the rest of this entry
He was four, his older brother was twelve and old enough to know the danger of that river. But the older brother was struggling with his mixed emotions. At some level he knew it would not go well with him if he did what he planned, but it would free him from competition for his parent’s attention and love. That kid had changed the family and he resented it deeply.
The answer was easy enough. He built a raft and then launched it in the river. It sat low in the water, not a great raft, more of a submerged old door, but it sort of floated. It would serve his purpose. His next step was to glorify the role of the barge’s very first captain and the glory of being the first sailor to brave those waters. It had to be someone small and not too heavy. Someone just like his brother! Read the rest of this entry