Until watching The Chosen (which, if you’re not watching, you’re seriously missing out) I never thought much about the interpersonal dynamics between Jesus’ disciples, particularly those between Matthew and the fishermen brothers Peter and Andrew. Think about it: Jesus called some small business men and the tax collector from the same town. To Peter and Andrew, Matthew was even worse than just any tax collector, he was their tax collector. They probably had dealings with each other prior to meeting Jesus. I doubt it went over well with the fishermen when Jesus called Matthew.
Today in our country, there’s an increasing fear (expressing itself as hatred) for those different from oneself, especially in the realms of ethnicity, sexual orientation and political predisposition. This happens in the Church also, usually around doctrinal differences. Contact is to be totally avoided with people who disagree with you. This seems absolutely contrary to Jesus’ M.O. and mission. “Jesus is about reconciliation.” We say that all the time and it sounds great, but what does that look like? When Jesus started his ministry, I think it looked like bringing together some fishermen and the tax collector who taxed them. For us, it might look like conservatives befriending liberals or Baptists befriending Pentecostals. We need to cherish the opportunities we have to reconcile the differences we have with someone from the opposite side of the spectrum from us, because that means that we are living out the heart of Jesus.
– Cameron Peters, Director of Communications