The Political Reconciliation of Matthew and Simon

Often, I’ve heard people emphasize the diverse backgrounds of the disciples as an effort to bring unity to the body of Christ; specifically Matthew and Simon.

Matthew was contracted by the Roman government to collect taxes and guilty of extorting travelers as they passed his booth by collecting more than asked and pocketing the difference. Simon was a zealot and was committed to rebellion against the Roman occupation. They were on opposite sides of the political “coin” but both were asked to follow Jesus. It’s an essential point as all are equal at the foot of the cross but something is lost if the story is not told to completion.

In response, Matthew left behind the greed and deception associated with his profession to follow Jesus. Simon transferred his zealous commitment to rebel against the Romans to one that promoted Christ. Although they started from disparate points, they converged on one common goal: Jesus.

Fortunately, Matthew and Simon equated their love for Christ with obedience (John 14:15) and didn’t stall their Christianity at conversion. Without even really knowing, they were intuitively aware some items had to be dropped in order to run like Jesus. And in their effort to hold fast to Him, they more closely aligned with each other.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2

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