7/19/20 – “Meet Matthew a.k.a. Levi”

Posted on : Jul 19th, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

“Meet Matthew a.k.a. Levi”

There seems to be an innate desire in the human creature to belong!  And I imagine we all know the universal experience of being shunned or not allowed to participate in or to join some group.  This Sunday, we’ll explore the life of one of the apostles whose choice of profession caused him to be shunned.  We will meet Matthew known to us as the tax collector whom Jesus invited to join his intimate group of disciples.

Jesus’ choice of Matthew will draw the ire of the good religious folk of that day!  Tax collectors were despised and not just by what they did but for whom they worked. Tax collectors were Jews who worked for the Roman occupiers. Their job was to raise taxes for the Roman Empire and at that time it appears that the citizens of Palestine were taxed heavily. The way the tax collector made his salary was to skim off the top of what was collected, so you had to not only pay Rome you had to pay the tax collector!  Now, you can sense why they were so despised.

Yet, Jesus saw something in Matthew and invited him to come learn from and to follow Jesus.  It appears that Matthew immediately got up from this tax table and went off with Jesus.

Matthew embodies Jesus’ desire to welcome all types of people into his love.  There are many Gospel stories where Jesus gets into trouble for hanging out with the “wrong” crowd.  Ultimately, this is one of the chief reasons that led to Jesus’ crucifixion.  There are two things I learn from Matthew’s story.  The first is that Jesus also wants us to hang out with the “wrong” crowd.  The second is that if you have ever been brushed off as being in the “wrong” crowd, Jesus is going to invite you to join his crowd.  As we will discover on Sunday, this is an amazing story about grace. This story is good news for anyone who has been told “you don’t belong here.”   What a gift to know that in Jesus’ world, we all belong!

I realize that preaching an extended sermon series is a tricky business as most of you will need to miss a Sunday here for there, especially over the course of the summer!  So, if you wish to keep up and not miss an apostle, then I invite you to send me an email with the date of the Sunday you missed, and I will be happy to send you that sermon.  This is my email:  joemcgowan@aol.com

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!


Joe McGowan, Guest Preacher

A Reading from Matthew 9: 9-13

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And Matthew got up and followed him. And as Jesus sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”


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Topic: Worship July 19th

Time: Jul 19, 2020 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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