Day 86: Joshua 18-19; Luke 5:27-39

And then, there is Matthew. Or, is it Levi (Luke 5:27-32)? Yes! It was not uncommon for people in his day to have name changes and nicknames. In fact, Levi was not the only disciple to be in that category. Considering his collectors were considered traitors and treated as worse than dogs because of their collusion with Rome against their own people...his names might be called into question. Levi means 'joiner, uniter, connector,' an appropriate name for the priestly tribe, but not a traitor. Matthew means 'gift of God.' Hardly! Jesus saw in the man something that no one else could. Buried beneath that hardened heart of one who was willing to risk his life and abandon his reputation for a living that was most often associated with crookery, Jesus saw God's gift to the Church, and one who could transcend religious and racial barriers. His writing links the Old Testament to the New, the Old Covenant as the foundation of the New Covenant. The words of a scribe, he has blessed millennia filled with people who have come to know Jesus, the Messiah. Matthew, gift of God, one who unites us. Grace transforms us into the person God created us to be. In Jesus, we are most truly and wholly ourselves. If anyone is in Christ, he or she, is a new creation. The old is gone completely. The new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Celebrate who you are in Jesus!

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