Something stopped me as I read the introduction to Matthew. His name means “the gift of God.” His job? Tax collector. Imagine the ridicule he received (and deserved.) The Temple-Going Bullies must’ve had a heyday.
“Look, there goes Matthew, Mr. Gift from God, joyfully stealing from us. Some gift. A taker is more like it.”
“Maybe he should give our taxes back as God’s gift.”
“If Matthew is a gift from God, I’m a monkey’s uncle.”
And so the taunting (theoretically) continued.
But you know what? Matthew was/is a gift from God. He wrote a testimony of Jesus for all of us to read. He recorded the Sermon on the Mount with breathtaking prose. Jesus transformed him from money-taking Matthew to Matthew the Gift of God.
His other name is Levi which means “attached.” Perhaps that’s where the transformation comes for all of us. We become gifts of God by His grace and also by our superglue attachment to Him.