Hosting a Matthew Party

Because Matthew wrote one of the Gospels, we often forget his sordid background.  Matthew was a tax gatherer, a most despised individual in Jewish society.  This isn’t because the Jews just hated paying taxes.  It was because “tax gatherers” collected money for a foreign occupier and because it was common practice for tax gatherers to extort more than they should and pocket the difference.  They were traitor crooks.

Jesus actually died for people like that.  So when he saw Matthew he went to meet Matthews friends and he brought along his disciples, much to their dismay at first.  The goal was simple.  Jesus wanted to get the Gospel to a corner of society where there were few links to God.  Places like that exist today as well.  Church people hang with other church people.  Non-church people hang with those who share there interests or no one at all.

More mixing needs to occur.  The true Matthews of today are unlikely to come to a church event, unless it is a wedding or funeral.  They would go to a bar or sports event or something like that.  So if you know a Matthew and care about them, invite them to something non-church where they can meet some of your church friends and find out that they don’t bite and that they can be fun.  (Don’t invite church friends who are boring or bite).  You don’t have to talk about Jesus at this point.  Just foster a few relationships that Jesus can use in the future.

Hearing the Gospel and believing it doesn’t usually happen at one time.  Faith develops over the course of time and often through relationships.  In relationships, people can safely observe others and eventually ask questions.  All along, God does His work to prepare a person to believe and be saved.

So if you have a gift of socializing.  If you bowl, golf, go to Sports bars, run, ride, shoot, ski, hike or whatever, ask a Matthew to join you and maybe another.  It will be fun.

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