In Matthew 10:2-4 the writer lists the twelve disciples. In that list he gives a few descriptors such as James son of Zebedee, James son of Alphaeus, etc. Most of these descriptors are benign, often using family relationships as a way of identification. But then he includes a couple of less benign descriptors. Descriptors that identify more than family relationships. He points out Simon the zealot and Matthew the tax collector. Why these descriptions? Partly to distinguish one Simon or Matthew from another, but I think there is a larger story here as well. Simon and Matthew could not be further apart on the political spectrum. Zealots, such as Simon, actively, sometimes violently, opposed working with the government while Matthew, a tax collector, not only worked with the government, but assisted the government in exploiting his fellow Jews. As fellow disciples these two were now brothers, in the deepest sense of the word. Called to come together as one in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to the world! Jesus very clearly calls us to be one body, united in love together before the world. He says that through this unity we will show the world who Christ is. In our current political climate, how seriously do we take this command? How often do we let ourselves be divided from our fellow believers over our politics? How often does the world look at us and see our politics rather than our heavenly Father?
Questions for further thought:
1. Do the people around me know more about what I stand for politically than they do about my relationship with my heavenly Father? What would it look like if I were as vocal about my faith as I am about my politics?
2. How am I letting politics create divisions between myself and other believers?
Challenge: Seek out someone (maybe even a fellow believer) who you know holds different political views than you do. REALLY listen to why they hold the views they do. DO NOT respond to try to “bring them over to your side.” See what common ground you can find with each other.
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