god’s kingdom of mercy (mt 9:13)
“I have come to call, not the self-righteous, but sinners.” —Matthew 9:13
St. Matthew wrote much of his Gospel about the Kingdom of God. Matthew presents several parables in which Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God (see e.g. Mt 13:4-50; Mt 25:1-46).
Matthew spent many years living outside the Kingdom of God. He had been trapped inside the kingdom of darkness, betraying and possibly extorting his own people as a tax collector (Mt 9:9). So when Jesus broke into Matthew’s life and delivered him from the kingdom of darkness to the marvelous light of the Kingdom of God (Col 1:13; cf 1 Pt 2:9), Matthew couldn’t stop marveling at God’s Kingdom and about Jesus, his Deliverer.
Matthew must have spent much time reflecting on Jesus’ statement that He had come to call sinners, and that God desired mercy most of all (Mt 9:13). Matthew knew what Jesus, in His mercy, had done for him, and he knew God’s plan to redeem the world.
Some of you who read this are like Matthew. You have spent time in the kingdom of darkness, “without hope and without God in the world” (Eph 2:12). God desires to make you His instrument of mercy. Let His Kingdom come and His will be done in your life (see Mt 6:10).
Prayer: Father, transform me into an instrument of Your mercy, so I can spread Your mercy to all who need it.
Promise: “Make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force.” —Eph 4:3
Praise: St. Matthew believed in the Messiah when Jesus called him to leave his job and even more so when Jesus called him to leave his earthly life through martyrdom.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(We are all called to Build a Civilization of Love in the world today and we have a two-part retreat to help you prepare to do so, offered Oct. 6-8 and Oct. 9-12. Call 513-373-2397 or see www.presentationministries.com for information or to register.)
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