This Is The Word Of The Lord
Sunday February 9th, 2014
The Evangelist Matthew and the Angel
The first recorded information of Matthew tells of a meeting between him and Jesus. At that time Matthew’s name was Levi; he was the son of Alphaeus. He was sitting at his tax collector’s desk near the Sea of Galilee when Jesus told him to follow him (Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14). Levi did this promptly. It is supposed that Jesus, as he did in other cases, gave Levi another name, Matthew, meaning “gift of Yahweh.” After this event Matthew Levi threw a feast for Jesus and his companions in his own house (Luke 5:9). Apart from some other passing references to him, there are no further precise details concerning Matthew’s life, except that he seems to have been associated closely with the Apostle Thomas in the ministry of preaching the Gospel (Matthew 9:3; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16). The Apostles of Jesus generally worked in pairs, and the above texts seem to associate Thomas and Matthew. It is not known how or where Matthew ended his life. Traditions and legends differ as to whether he died a martyr’s death or of natural causes.
Today’s Gospel Reading
Matthew 5:13-16 NIV
Salt And Light
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
What Does Matthew Mean?
The reference to salt had two separate meanings during the time Christ. It was first used to preserve foods….primarily meat….preventing spoiling in the heat of the region. And it is thought that this reference also identifies believers as the ones who preserve the world from the sin of the men and women who were considered ungodly and corrupted.
The second use for salt remains the same today as it was in the 1st century. Salt enhances the flavor of foods, making it more desirable to the human palate. So it is not out of the realm of possibilities that Christ’s use when referring to His followers, is intended to infer that those who believe will make the world a better and more “palatable” place for man to live!
The light reference is one that we use over and over when speaking of our faith and the lives we live which must act as a shining example to all we encounter. It is by the light of faith that we live and by the light of faith that we become a beacon for all to see and be guided by for their own behaviors!
Our Second Reading
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdoms I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Thanks Be To God!
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