In this passage, we hear the story of Christ calling a sinner to be a disciple. The tradition of the church names this particular disciple, Matthew, and calls him the author of this Gospel. That contrast should absolutely shock and amaze us. The idea that an agent of the governmental power system which oppressed Israel, God’s chosen people, could ever be an evangelist of the church-not to mention, forgiven-is almost unbelievable.
But we have been hearing this kind of story all week. We have been hearing the Word announce the truth to us: about creation, about the church, about the work of God through Christ, about ourselves. We have heard surprising words about disciples who fail and are forgiven. It should be equally surprising and wonderful that sinners are forgiven and made disciples, apostles.
I say surprising and wonderful because Christ tells us that this is how God chooses to act. Christ has come first for all those we would normally place last on the list of qualified for discipleship. Christ calls them by faith and as we hear about Matthew, they simply follow. God grant that we may do the same.
Your mercy, gracious God, calls us by name. Grant that we may follow Christ into life everlasting. Amen. — JCB