From the Pastor
I saw a post on the internet this week. It said, “An accountant is someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.” That is probably unfair, because with April 15 coming this Sunday, accountants are very valuable. My sister, Karen, is an accountant. I know how hard she works and how valuable she is to her clients. As painful as taxes are, believe it or not, they were far worse in Jesus day, when taxes were legalized robbery.
The Romans would go into a city and outsource collecting taxes to the highest bidder. Then that person, supported by the Roman army, would fleece the population for all they were worth, pay Rome their cut, and pocket the rest. It was so unfair, and the people despised the tax collectors. In Jesus’ day, tax collectors were not even allowed to set foot in a house of worship.
Imagine, the first time Matthew the Tax Collector heard Jesus speak was in the outdoors, — maybe down by the docks or on the lake or up on a hillside. What is Matthew famous for reporting to us? The Sermon on the Mount. This should not really be a surprise, because what are CPA’s best at doing? Keeping records. Sometimes the best church committees are the ones with a bookkeeper or a CPA, because they take minutes, type them up real nice on the computer, and send them out to everybody by email.
Matthew is known as the compiler of the sayings of Jesus. For example, only in Matthew do we get three entire chapters of the Sermon on the Mount. He was there at the edge of the crowd jotting it all down on his yellow pad. And most importantly, he was one of Jesus’ disciples. Isn’t it amazing who Jesus chose to be his most faithful followers?
Two thousand years later, he calls us as teachers, business owners, farmers, students, office workers, — and yes, even accountants to follow him, and live out his ministry of love and grace in the world.
Quote of the Week
““The world says: ‘love yourself, grab all you can, follow your heart.’ Jesus says: ‘deny yourself, grab your cross and follow Me.’” Francis Chan
Francis Chan is an American preacher. He is the former teaching pastor of a Church in Simi Valley, California, a church he and his wife started in 1994. He is also the Founder and Chancellor of Eternity Bible College and author of several best-selling books.