I share Matthew’s journey, change of purpose and new opportunities with you in story form, because I believe wisdom and revelation must be ‘caught’, not just taught.
I imagine Matthew walking with his friend Susanna around the Sea of Galilee near Capernaum and saying:
“As a tax collector, I am thankful for The Roman Empire. It’s very profitable to serve Caesar. My business is growing as the worldwide trade and travel increases.
“Yes, Susanna, I overcharge my Jewish people. After all, I need that extra money to become really important.
“I charge all travelers double—every tax collector does it! The travelers do not make the Gold Rules—Rome and I do. After all, ‘he who has the gold makes the rules.’ That’s why I ‘do unto others—take advantage of them—before they do that unto me’ —this is another Roman golden rule that works!”
What Matthew didn’t realize at first, but Susanna did, is that the longer he was following the Roman wealth codes, the more enslaved he was becoming to the god of gold (Exodus 32:31). That god didn’t only demand his freedom in exchange for profit, but also required his soul!
In his confusion after hearing the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew began to wonder how Yeshua’s Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) could work in business. After all, who in business would believe you should “do unto others what you want done unto yourself?”
However, in the ‘fullness of time,’ Matthew would later write these words of Yeshua: “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).