God please save me from your people! That seems to be the new cliché. Actually it’s so cliché that it’s cliché. Sure on some levels I can understand what people mean when they cover up the fish on their bumper with a poignant bumper sticker pointing out that select humans are flawed. That’s the fact that is overlooked. All humans have issues. All humans let people down, lie, gossip, and act up.
I have been around churchy people enough in my life to see glaring inconsistencies. They sometimes stab you in the back, tell falsehoods, and spread rumors. They can harm your reputation, harbor hate, and let you down. I’ve experienced all of this and more from unbelievers too. Humans are human. This fact is a result of our fall. We are born sinners and live our lives trying to get our flesh formed into His image.
That said, the greatest people I have met are Christians. Real people there for you when life serves up a curveball. People that pray for, help, and show the love of God to other people on a daily basis. They daily surprise you with their expressed love and friendship. In reality, the hypocritical Christians are by far the minority and not the majority.
Matthew (also called Levi) was probably a little richer than the average individual. He was blessed of God and wasn’t afraid to spread the love. He enjoyed people and people enjoyed him. His circle of influence was wide spread and he used it to spread Jesus’ fame.
Matthew 9:10 – And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house (Matthews), behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
Matthew 9:11 – And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
I call them Matthew parties. He gathered Jesus and the disciples and mixed them together with a mosaic of sinners, publicans, and others. His strategy was simple and full of synergy. He grouped great Christians with great sinners. To abate the standard view of most who think all Christians are jerks; Matthew put them all together in the same house and let the sinners realize just how great God’s people were.
That to me is awesome, and totally transferable to you and your house. Why not gather some of your Christian friends and a crew of your sinner friends and have a party. Don’t spiritualize this party, rather let each group mingle and live a little together. Allow cynical people to experience the best of Christianity first hand. Barriers will be broken. Paradigms will be pummeled. And your friends just maybe will like the disciples you connect them with. Let them realize believers are great people too. Spread the fame of Jesus in your neighborhood.
This was unprecedented back then, but much needed now. Throw a Matthew party. Matthew was a brand new believer when this party was held. Anybody can do it. What meal can your wife cook that causes you to salivate just thinking about it? What buddies do you have you would love to see follow Jesus too? Who can you connect them to in a non-threatening environment? What weekend can you plan on having a gathering at your hacienda? Do it. Plan it. Party down. Let the best of God’s people break down the idioms directed at Christians today. Who knows? Maybe they will pull that bumper sticker off and actually see themselves in the fish!