The Gospel of Matthew ends with two unique passages. In the first, Jesus’ opponents attempt to invalidate the reports of his resurrection by bribing the soldiers who stood guard at the tomb. In the second, Jesus meets with his disciples in Galilee and gives them his Great Commission to make disciples in all the world.
One of my favorite television shows, Doctor Who, follows a time-traveling alien who appears at some of the most crucial moments of history and attempts to right wrongs or redirect paths. Instead of dying from injuries or old age, he regenerates into a man with a new face and personality who still remembers everything he has done.
I had the strangest experience just a few weeks ago. I’d been asked to participate in the funeral of a woman I did not know well; she grew up at my church, Calvary, and I knew her family from a couple of chances we’d had to be together.
Two weeks ago Laura and I took part in the annual CBF China-Japan team meeting in Macau, China. As part of our gathering, we did a tour of the city with our teammates and the Macau team members’ English students. We visited many beautiful sites, but the most famous and awe-inspiring were the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, a historic Portuguese church near the center of town.
I had the opportunity to go on a much-needed vacation last week with my husband to sunny Key West. Because he had looked forward to this for weeks, he immediately wanted to book some excursions. We settled on a jet ski tour around the island and a boat trip that included snorkeling in the middle of the ocean.
Once again, Jesus’ words are unsettling. Here Jesus lists all the discord that his presence will sow between family members. Harsh words that leave my nerves a little raw, if I am honest, because they don’t sound like the Jesus I know. I want to argue with this Jesus…with the Matthean scribe…and say, “No.”